Tag Archives: coronavirus

Coronavirus: 2,000 cases in China..


The death toll from the new virus in China has risen to 56 with 1,975 total cases reported.

The figures reported Sunday morning cover the previous 24 hours and mark an increase of 15 deaths and 688 cases.

The government also reported five cases in Hong Kong, two in Macao and three in Taiwan.


China’s leader on Saturday called the accelerating spread of a new virus a grave situation, as cities from the outbreak’s epicenter in central China to Hong Kong scrambled to contain the illness.

Travel agencies have been told to halt all group tours.


Millions of people traveling during the holiday have fueled the spread of the outbreak nationwide and overseas after it began in the city of Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province.

Wuhan, where the outbreak started, is banning most vehicles in downtown areas to restrict people’s movement, while Hong Kong is closing schools for two weeks.


According to The Associated Press, President Xi Jinping’s remarks, reported by state broadcaster CCTV, came at a meeting of Communist Party leaders convened on Lunar New Year — the country’s biggest holiday whose celebrations have been muted — and underlined the government’s urgent, expanding efforts to control the outbreak.

At the entry of one market in Wuhan, a worker was seen giving hand sanitizer to shoppers.

The vast majority of the infections and all the deaths have been in mainland China, but fresh cases are popping up.

Australia and Malaysia reported their first cases Saturday, and other countries reported additional ones.


#Newsworthy…

Coronavirus: Symptoms come after virus spread – Researchers..


A new coronavirus that has spread to almost 2,000 people is infectious in its incubation period – before symptoms show – making it harder to contain, Chinese officials say.

Some 56 people have died from the virus. Health minister Ma Xiaowei told reporters the ability of the virus to spread appeared to be strengthening.

Several Chinese cities have imposed significant travel restrictions.


Wuhan in Hubei, the source of the outbreak, is in effective lockdown.

Wuhan: The London-sized city where the virus began
How do you quarantine a city – and does it work?
The infections were at a “crucial stage of containment”, Ma Xiaowei said.


Officials announced that the sale of all wildlife in China would be banned from Sunday. The virus was initially thought to have originated in animals.

In humans, the incubation period – during which a person has the disease, but no symptoms yet – ranges from between one and 14 days, officials believe.


Without symptoms, a person may not know they have the infection, but still be able to spread it.

This is a significant development in our understanding of the virus and the lengths China will have to go to stop it.


People with Sars (the last deadly coronavirus outbreak to hit China) and Ebola are contagious only when symptoms appear.

Such outbreaks are relatively easy to stop – identify and isolate people who are sick and monitor anyone they came into contact with.


Flu, however, is the most famous example of a virus that you spread before you even know you’re ill.

We are not at the stage where people are saying this could be a global pandemic like swine flu.


But stopping such “symptomless spreaders” will make the job of the Chinese authorities much harder.

There are still crucial questions – how infectious are people during the incubation period and did any of the patients outside China spread the disease in those countries before becoming sick?


And why did China’s National Health Commission say the transmission ability of this virus is getting stronger?

What’s it like in Wuhan?
Sophie, from the UK, is inside locked-down Wuhan. She told the BBC: “We’re pretty much stuck.”


“We’ve been stuck in the house four days. We found out about the virus on 31 December. It’s just got worse and worse. Now it’s really bad,” she said.

“It’s scary, we’ve heard the virus can stay in the system for two weeks without somebody showing signs they’re sick.

With no taxis on the streets, volunteer drivers are bringing people to crowded hospitals.

“There are no cars, so we are responsible for bringing people there (to hospital), and we take them back, afterwards we will do disinfecting. All for free,” Yin Yu told AFP news agency.


“We’re fine,” another driver, Zhang Lin, said. “There has to be someone who does this. We’re from Wuhan, and even you guys [journalists] are here to help us, our own citizens should also come out to do this. This is our job.”

What is the virus?
The virus itself is a new, or “novel” coronavirus – a family that normally affects animals.


One human variant causes the common cold, but another, Sars, killed hundreds in a major outbreak in 2003.

Coronavirus: How worried should we be?
Has China learned lessons since deadly Sars epidemic‎?
This new virus causes severe acute respiratory infection.


Symptoms seem to start with a fever, followed by a dry cough and then, after a week, lead to shortness of breath and some patients needing hospital treatment.

At the end of Saturday in China, there were 1975 cases and a further 2,684 suspected cases, China’s National Health Commission said.

How has it spread?
Sunday is the second day of the Year of the Rat – and the rapid spread of the disease coincides with the Lunar New Year festival, one of the busiest travel periods in the Chinese calendar.

From Wuhan, a city of 11 million people in Hubei province, the disease spread to neighbouring cities and provinces in smaller numbers. By Saturday, cases were reported across China.


China’s travel industry counts cost of coronavirus
How is China coping with the coronavirus outbreak?
But the disease also spread by air travel, and several countries are dealing with a handful of cases.


A small number of infections have been reported in neighbouring Asian nations, but also further afield.

Cases have been confirmed in Japan, Taiwan, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, the US, and France.

Wuhan woman who ‘cheated’ checks found in France
UK coronavirus tests come back negative
Coronavirus sparks anxiety among Chinese overseas
Other countries have carried out tests on suspected cases – for example, the UK tested 31 people, but all results came back negative.

The US is extracting its consular staff in Wuhan, while Japan and the UK have both said they are considering evacuating citizens.


#Newsworthy…

Coronavirus: Port health workers, immigration in fear


The Nigeria Immigration Service and Port Health Services have expressed fears over the outbreak of Coronavirus in China.

The deadly disease, which broke out in the Asian nation sometime last month, has spread to eight countries including United States and Singapore, with over 800 people infected and 30 killed in the past few weeks.


Immigration and Port Health Services officials, said hundreds of the Chinese who left Nigeria for China to celebrate their annual festival – Lunar New Year – would start returning to Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country from next week.

As such, they expressed fears of the possibility the Asians contracting the disease and bringing it into the country.


The immigration, port health and other airport officials, who spoke in separate interviews at Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt international airports, were also worried that Nigerians who frequent the Nigeria-China routes for business might import the killer virus into the country if care was not taken.

Some officials of Port Health Services, a unit under the Ministry of Health, said the risk of importing the virus into Nigeria could not be completely ruled out since there was a window period of 10 days during which infected persons might not manifest any of the known symptoms of Coronavirus.


According to them, the thermal scanners installed at the airports are expected to alert them whenever any passenger with body heat exceeding 37 degrees passes under it.

The known symptoms of Coronavirus are fever, sneezing, difficulty in breathing and high temperature.


Although inbound passengers are physically monitored for any of these signs, Port Health Services officials said the virus incubation period might not make a carrier to manifest any of these signs, hence the possibility of missing out on some passengers.

A top official of the PHS said, “You know the way we do things in Nigeria, our own approach is always ‘fire brigade’. What we have here are what we were supplied during Ebola crisis by international donor agencies.


“My worry is that Monkeypox is also a problem in Nigeria. As of last month, we had 182 cases with nine confirmed death. Lagos State is even having the highest number with about 30 per cent. So my fear now is that on a daily basis we have Chinese coming into our country. Coronavirus broke out in December and people have been coming in. Some of them might have visited the cities where this virus is (in China) and they are already here in Nigeria. The scanners at the airports cannot capture them during the window period. The window period is about 10 days. During this period, our scanners may not detect any infected person because the symptoms are not there yet.”

A PHS official at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, said he was worried that health questionnaires were not being administered on China passengers.


He said this had increased the possibility of the disease coming into the country.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “We have nose masks and kits here to protect ourselves. We also have sanitisers. My worry, however, is that there are no health questionnaires to administer on passengers from China. Even at Lagos airport where more Chinese passengers are recorded, there are no health questionnaires. The health questionnaires we have were designed for Ebola virus. We don’t take proactive actions in Nigeria until things happen and we will start running around.”


Our correspondents, who visited the screening point at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on Thursday and Friday, observed that health questionnaires were not administered on passengers arriving from China via Ethiopia Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Egypt Air, among others.

An immigration official at the MMIA feared Nigerian traders who frequent the Nigeria-China route could be infected by Coronavirus.


He said, “Chinese are not the only people to give us concern, we have Nigerians who travel to China for business. They return on Emirates, Qatar Airways, Egypt Air.”

A top Immigration official at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport noted that Chinese nationals would start coming back to the country in large numbers soon.


He said although the airport authority was collaborating with other health institutions to track those suspected to have contracted the virus at entry points, he was worried it might not be watertight, especially when Chinese who travelled start returning to the country.

He said, “FAAN is working together with other health authorities to track anyone suspected to have the virus. They have installed equipment that captures the temperature of all visitors entering the airport. For now, there are no threats. This is because the Chinese are not coming in large numbers; they travelled out in large numbers recently for their Lunar New Year holiday. But very soon, they will start coming in. You know that their New Year is different from ours. This is why we need to be more careful because the risk will be higher.”


Another PHS official at the Lagos airport noted that the country had yet to acquire the reagent to diagnose the virus.

The official said, “Even for monkeypox cases that we are recording in the country, we have to take the specimen abroad for confirmation test. We are just making noises here, we don’t have anything on the ground.


“For now, there is no designated place in any of our airports for quarantine. The centre in Yaba has quarantine; the airport is supposed to have but we don’t.”

The health official said basic health facilities problems at the airport had been there for a long time.


The official said, “As I am talking to you, we have only one doctor in Lagos and we run more than one shift. Abuja has a doctor and I think there is one in Kano. Lagos airport needs more than one doctor. Sometimes when we have emergency at the night, we will be running around. We may have to call a doctor from the state government (hospital).”

The official, who also emphasised the importance of the health questionnaires on inbound passengers, said, “Between the time the virus gets to somebody and the time the virus starts manifesting, there is no how thermal camera can detect that. The person will not even show any sign of the virus during the incubation period.


“This is where the health form is important. With that form, we can know the passengers who visited certain places in China in December. Even such passengers would be called later for us to monitor whether they are down or not. We also have health management’ form and we have health workers’ form.”

Also, a top official of FAAN at the Port Harcourt International Airport expressed fear that the disease could spread to Nigeria, calling on the Federal Government to make further measures to ensure that it did not spread to the country.


The source said, “There is fear; one cannot rule out that. But it is now left for the Federal Government to know what to do concerning this. There has been this sensitisation that if you have high temperature or you are feeling cold or feverish, go to hospital to assess the situation and see if it is Coronavirus or Lassa fever.

Countries with confirmed cases of Coronavirus


According to an AFP report, about 10 counties have confirmed cases of Coronavirus.

Cases of the disease have been reported in Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the United States as well as in the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau.


China

As of Friday, more than 800 people have been infected across China, with 177 in serious condition. Authorities were also examining 1,072 suspected case.


Officials also confirmed the second virus death outside the Wuhan region, saying a patient died in Heilongjiang province, 2,000km away.

The city of Macau, a gambling hub hugely popular with mainland tourists, has confirmed two cases. The first was a 52-year-old businesswoman from Wuhan who arrived in Macau by high-speed rail on Sunday, via the neighbouring city of Zhuhai.


Japan

As of Thursday, two people tested positive in Hong Kong. Both had visited Wuhan in recent days and are being treated in isolation wards in the hospital.


Japan’s health authorities confirmed a second case on Friday, Kyodo news agency reported, saying the patient was a man in his 40s who was originally from Wuhan and on a trip to Japan.

On January 16, Japan’s health ministry said they had its first case – a man who had visited Wuhan and was hospitalised on January 10, four days after his return to Japan.


Singapore

Singapore on Friday announced two more confirmed cases of the new SARS-like virus, bringing the total number to three.


The health ministry confirmed the first case Thursday – a 66-year-old man who arrived from Wuhan with his 37-year-old son, who also tested positive for coronavirus.

Both had arrived in Singapore on Monday.


The third confirmed case is a 52-year-old Wuhan woman, who arrived in the city-state on Tuesday and was admitted to hospital the following day.

South Korea


South Korea confirmed on Friday its second case of the virus.

The health ministry said a South Korean man in his 50s started experiencing symptoms while working in Wuhan on January 10. He was tested on his return earlier this week, and the virus was confirmed.


The country reported its first case on January 20 — a 35-year-old woman who flew in from Wuhan.

Taiwan-


On January 22, authorities confirmed the first case on the self-ruled island of Taiwan — a Taiwanese woman in her fifties, living in Wuhan, who returned to the island on Monday with symptoms including fever, coughing and a sore throat.

Thailand


Thailand has detected four cases so far — three Chinese nationals from Wuhan and a 73-year-old Thai woman who came back from the Chinese city this month.

Two of the Chinese patients were treated, cured and have travelled back to their country, the Thai health ministry said this week.


United States

On January 21, the United States announced its first case – a man in his 30s living near Seattle. Officials say he is in a good condition and approached authorities himself after reading about the virus in news reports.


Vietnam-

Vietnam confirmed two cases of the virus on Thursday. An infected man from Wuhan travelled to Ho Chi Minh City earlier this month and passed the virus onto his son.


Both are being treated hospital and are stable, Vietnam health officials said.

WHO advises countries to prepare for containment and surveillance


Meanwhile, the WHO has advised all countries to prepare for containment, including active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and prevention of onward spread of Coronavirus.

The WHO Emergency Committee gave the advice on after two days meeting held in Geneva to deliberate whether coronavirus was a Public Health Emergency of International Concern or not.

In a statement, the UN health agency, declared that Novel Coronavirus was not yet an official PHEIC but said countries should expect that further international exportation of cases might appear in any country.

The statement said, “Countries should place particular emphasis on reducing human infection, prevention of secondary transmission and international spread.


“They should also place emphasis on contributing to the international response though multi-sectoral communication and collaboration and active participation in increasing knowledge on the virus and the disease, as well as advancing research.’’

Meanwhile, the British government w as expected to hold an emergency response meeting on Friday over the deadly virus.


A government spokesman said Britain was “well prepared” to deal with the emerging threat, stressing that “there remain no confirmed cases” in the country to date.

Representatives of the ministries of transport, home affairs, foreign affairs, education, health and devolved nations will attend the special COBRA meeting, Downing Street said.


Public Health England said Friday that 14 people in Britain had been tested for the coronavirus to date, with five given the all-clear and nine more awaiting their test results.

UK health authorities have introduced “enhanced monitoring” for the three weekly flights from Wuhan – the central China city from where the virus spread – to London’s Heathrow airport.


Meanwhile in Nigeria the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria have put all airline operators, Air Navigation Service Providers and Aerodrome Operators on the alert over the outbreak of coronavirus.

The National Centre for Disease Control said there was no specific cause for the deadly coronavirus yet but added that each of the symptoms could be treated separately for the carriers of the virus to survive.


A statement from the centre said, “There is no specific treatment for disease caused by the novel coronavirus yet. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. Therefore, treatment is based on the patient’s clinical condition. In addition, supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective.”

The NCDC added that travellers from Nigeria to Wuhan must avoid contact with sick people, animals (alive or dead), and animal markets.


It added, “Travellers from Wuhan to Nigeria may be asked questions upon arrival by the PHS unit at points of entry about symptoms of illness and travel history, and are advised to report immediately to NCDC, if they feel ill after a trip to Wuhan.”

Health ministry reacts


When asked why questionnaires were not provided for passengers arriving from China, the Deputy Director, Press, at the ministry, Mrs Enefaa Bob-Manuel, told one of our correspondents who visited the Federal Ministry of Health secretariat in Abuja on Friday that the officer in charge of the PHS would speak on operations of health officers at the various entry points after getting permission from the ministry.

She promised to notify our correspondent as soon at the permission was given. However, as of the time of filing this report, our correspondent had yet to be notified.


NobleReporters learnt on January 15 that the NCDC Laboratory Network Advisor, Mrs Celestina Obiekea, told one of our correspondents who visited the National Reference Laboratory in Gaduwa in Abuja that the country had ordered reagent to develop the capacity to test samples.

She added that designated laboratories, including the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja, had the capacity to deal with coronavirus.


When asked on Friday if the national laboratory had taken delivery of the reagent, she told our correspondent that the laboratory had yet to take delivery of the chemical. She however said the absence of the item did not call for panic, despite the spread of the disease in some parts of the world.

The NCDC Laboratory Network Advisor said, “We have not received the shipment of the virus reagent. But we hope to sort it out by next week. But the fact that we have not taken its delivery does not call for any panic. There is no cause for alarm.”


NMA allays fears

Also on Friday, the President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr Francis Faduyile, allayed the fear that there could be a breach at the nation’s entry points, especially if the PHS were not provided questionnaires for passengers from China.


He said, “Since the WHO has not declared coronavirus as a global emergency, it might be difficult for us to quarantine people arriving from China. What they do now generally (at the entry points) is to check body temperature. It is just for us to be aware (of anyone coming with coronavirus symptoms). It is not as if those who contact the virus will die.

“It is meant to have early treatment. We need to be on the lookout. We don’t need to quarantine until the WHO declares an emergency on it. It is still in the right process for us to do what we are doing now.”


In an earlier interview with one of our correspondents, the NMA boss urged the government to treat coronavirus like Ebola virus in term of readiness and resources to fight it.

Faduyile said, “Coronavirus is one of the highly contagious viral illnesses we have seen. We had a form of the virus called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (in 2002) and now that the world has become a global village, it has made it easy to transmit the virus.


“It should be treated like Ebola because it is also highly infectious. They are zoonotic diseases that affect animals and are transmitted to human beings. Also in that category is Lassa fever.

“We have seen in the recent time the case of Ebola virus in Africa with all immigrants subjected to test at port of entry. Anyone with high temperature should be subjected to tests to know the cause of their body temperature.”


Meanwhile, on Thursday and Friday, health officials screened passengers who arrived at the MMIA aboard Ethiopian, Emirates, Qatar and Etihad Airways.

However, there was no passenger with a temperature among them and they were allowed in.


Health officials and immigration officers at the airport wore nose masks to prevent contracting the dreaded virus.

Some of the passengers, who spoke, lauded the effort to screen those coming into the country.


c

Some Indians aboard the aircraft said the virus was not in their country but commended the efforts of the Nigerian officials to prevent the spread of the virus to the country.

One of the Indians, Pawan Guppa, said, “The virus you are talking about is not in India. It is in China. India has no problem with it.


“Nigeria is doing a good job with the screening of passengers and it is a good one.”

Another passenger, Sai Arjun, said screening passengers at entry points would go a long way in preventing the virus from coming to Nigeria.


Nigeria at risk as 120,000 Chinese nationals visit annually

There are also fears that Nigerian visitors to Chinese cities may also contract the disease and spread it to others on arrival in the country if stringent measures are not taken at the airports and other border points.


Official figures obtained on Friday by NobleReporters indicated that about 120,000 Chinese nationals visit Nigeria annually mainly to explore business and other economic opportunities in agriculture, solid mineral exploration and mining.

According to the President, China Chambers of Commerce in Nigeria, Mr Ye Shuijin, 160 Chinese firms operating in the country had employed over 200,000 Nigerians, many of whom are sent to China for training and seminars from time to time.


Also, no fewer than 30,000 Nigerians travel to different Chinese cities every year for business or tourism.

Findings also reveal that about 60,000 Chinese nationals are living in different cities in Nigeria. Many of them also travel to their home country regularly during festive seasons such as the Spring Festival holding on Saturday (today).


China, according to reports, went into lockdown on Friday after authorities and business owners scrambled to shut tourist attractions and public transport systems as part of efforts to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Major festivities all over the country have been cancelled, including those at Beijing’s Forbidden City, a major tourist destination, and fairs and carnivals in Beijing and Hong Kong.


China allocates RMB 1 billion to fight the virus

China is allocating RMB 1 billion ($144m) to combat coronavirus outbreak.


A statement released by the Ministry of Finance on Thursday said the money would “support virus control work in Hubei province,” where Wuhan is located.

It did not specify how the funds would be spent.

Meanwhile, passenger screening, particularly for inbound travellers, was tightened up by FAAN, immigration and PHS officials, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Friday.

Also, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced on Friday via his Twitter handle that the Federal Government had received six new aircraft to be deployed at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, Kaduna State.


#Newsworthy…

Coronavirus: 3 cases in France


France has confirmed its first three cases of Coronavirus, marking the first confirmed cases of the deadly virus from China in Europe.

French health minister Agnes Buzyn who made the announcement on Friday January 24, first confirmed the cases of two people who travelled to China. The third case, believed to be a family member of one of those already announced was later added to the list.

France confirms first European cases of Coronavirus

Buzyn also disclosed that she expects more to emerge within the nation’s borders. She said;

“We have two cases, we will probably have other cases. We see how difficult it is in today’s world to close the frontiers. In reality, it’s not possible”

The Minister said she believes they are the first country in Europe to confirm the virus because of the development of a rapid diagnostic test within France.

France confirms first European cases of Coronavirus

Buzyn said;

“You have to treat an epidemic as you would a fire, that’s to say find the source very quickly.”

The French health Minister also confirmed that the Bordeaux patient is a 48-year-old Frenchman of Chinese origin who passed through Wuhan. His case was confirmed after being taken to the hospital for presenting classic flu-like symptoms.

The Bordeaux patient who alongside the second patient who is receiving treatment in Paris, were in contact with about 10 people before their cases were confirmed.


#Newsworthy…

Coronavirus: 10 people tested positive in Alameda


Fewer than 10 people are being tested for the deadly coronavirus in Alameda County, according to health officials.

The Alameda County Health Department told FOX40 sister station KRON4 there are no confirmed cases at this time.


Health officials are not releasing an exact number of how many patients are being tested but said the number is less than 10.

Officials say the patients have either traveled to Wuhan, China within the past 14 days or have been in contact with someone who has been exposed to the virus.


The patients have also had a high fever and a cough, officials said.

The health department stressed that this does not mean they have the virus or will get the virus.


The patients’ lab work is being sent to the CDC in Atlanta for further testing.

Hundreds of people infected with the new virus have fallen ill in China and 25 have died as of Thursday,


The first cases appeared last month in Wuhan, an industrial and transportation hub in central China.

The first case of the coronavirus in the United States was reported in Washington state. The U.S. citizen had returned to the Seattle area in the middle of last week after traveling to Wuhan, according to the CDC.


Earlier this week, several major U.S. airports, including San Francisco International Airport, had begun screening airline passengers arriving from central China for the virus.

Chinese authorities Thursday moved to lock down at least three cities with a combined population of more than 18 million in an unprecedented effort to contain the deadly new virus.


#Newsworthy…

Coronavirus: China researchers discovered the cause (Read…)


Airports and public transportation in Wuhan and three other cities are shut down, and the Post reports large gatherings are being banned across the country.

Even the iconic Forbidden City, which attracts millions of visitors every year, will close indefinitely on Saturday, the Associated Press reported.


But the virus has already spread.

Several countries across Asia have reported cases, and a person in Washington State is being treated, after contracting coronavirus on a trip to Wuhan.


International Business Times reported researchers at Peking University may have identified the culprit – venomous snakes sold alongside other exotic animals at a market in Wuhan that’s believed to be the outbreak’s epicenter.

However, an article in the Journal of Medical Virology, written by scientists from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh’s Microbiology and Molecular Genetics department, suggests marmots and bats sold at the market could just as easily be to blame.

According to NPR, infected bats were behind the 2002 SARS outbreak that killed 774 people.

Regardless of Wuhan coronavirus’ precise origin, the Chinese government confirmed this week it is actively spreading from person to person.

CBS News reports at least 17 people in China have died


#Newsworthy…

Coronavirus: More cities shut as Infection increases


China has widened a lockdown in Hubei province – the centre of the coronavirus outbreak – as the death toll climbed to 26.

The travel restrictions will affect at least 20 million people across 10 cities, including the capital Wuhan, where the virus emerged.

On Thursday, a coronavirus patient died in nearby Hebei province – making it the first death outside Hubei.


Another death was later confirmed in north-east Heilongjiang province.

The north-eastern area borders Russia and is more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) from Wuhan.


‘We’ve been advised not to leave our rooms’
Has China learned lessons since deadly Sars epidemic‎?
Nationally, there are currently 830 confirmed cases of patients infected with the virus.

The lockdown comes on the eve of Lunar New Year – one of the most important dates in the Chinese calendar, when millions of people travel home.


In Shanghai, the Disney Resort said it was “temporarily closing in response to the prevention and control of the disease outbreak”.

Millions of people across China are making their way home for Lunar New Year
Travel restrictions vary from city to city – though many places have suspended transport services.


In Wuhan, all bus, subway and ferry services have been suspended and all outbound planes and trains cancelled.

China’s travel industry counts cost of coronavirus
Residents have been advised not to leave, and roadblocks have been reported.


Ezhou, a smaller city in Hubei, shut its railway station. The city of Enshi has suspended all bus services.

Have you been affected? Get in touch: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk
But the impact of the coronavirus is not limited to Hubei province. Authorities have also cancelled major public events in other parts of the country, including:


Shut down of the Forbidden City, Beijing’s palace complex
Cancellation of traditional temple fairs in Beijing
Cancellation of an international carnival in Hong Kong
Cancellation of annual football tournament in Hong Kong
Cancellation of all public Lunar New Year celebrations in Macau
The virus has spread across China and to countries as far as Japan, Thailand and the US.


Earlier information from China’s National Health Commission, when the death toll was 17, said the youngest person who died from the virus was 48 and the oldest was 89.

Most victims were elderly and suffered from other chronic diseases including Parkinson’s and diabetes.


Wuhan woman who ‘cheated’ checks found in France
How do you quarantine a city – and does it work?
Coronavirus: How worried should we be?
Wuhan – home to around 11 million people – is now rapidly building a new 1,000 bed hospital to deal with the increasing number of victims.


State owned news outlet Changjiang Daily said the hospital could be ready by 3 February. A total of 35 diggers and 10 bulldozers are currently working on the site.

The project will “solve the shortage of existing medical resources” and would be “built fast [and] not cost much… because it will be prefabricated buildings”.


Videos have been circulating on social media, reportedly taken by Wuhan residents, showing long queues at local hospitals

In one video on Twitter taken from Chinese social media, a man can be heard complaining, saying patients could be queuing for as long as 10 hours. The video could not be independently verified by the BBC.


Xinyan Yu
@xinyanyu
I’m not on the #WuhanCoronavirus story as a journalist this time. I’m a very concerned 武汉人 posting videos I see in chat groups. Here is a another one – the man in the video speaks with a Wuhan accent: “I’m at the Hankou Hospital… (1/2)

End of Twitter post by @xinyanyu

The World Health Organization has not classed the virus as an “international emergency”, partly because of the low number of overseas cases.


“It may yet become one,” said the WHO’s director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Wuhan: The London-sized city where the virus began
Fourteen people in UK tested for new strain
The US said on Thursday it was investigating its second suspected case, this time a student at Texas A&M University who had been to Wuhan.


What’s the global situation?
Vietnam and Singapore were on Thursday added to the nations recording confirmed cases, joining Thailand, the US, Taiwan and South Korea.

Japan confirmed its second case on Thursday and South Korea its second case on Friday.


On Friday, Singapore confirmed its third case – who is known to be the son of the patient in the first confirmed case.

Thailand’s four cases is the most of any nation other than China. Other nations are investigating suspected cases, including the UK and Canada.

Many authorities have announced screening measures for passengers from China, including on Thursday the major airport hubs of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Taiwan has banned people arriving from Wuhan and the US state department warned American travellers to exercise increased caution in China.


#Newsworthy…

Coronavirus: 14 tested in UK

…5 negative, 9 await result


About fourteen people in the UK have been tested for coronavirus with five confirmed negative and nine still awaiting the results.

The executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom, Public Health England said that the number includes five people who had undergone tests for the virus in Scotland.


A statement from the Scottish government today said: ‘Following travel to Wuhan, China, two people confirmed as diagnosed with influenza are now being tested for Wuhan novel coronavirus as a precautionary measure only.

‘Three further people are also undergoing testing on a similar precautionary basis.


‘There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and the risk to the Scottish public remains low.’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said the tests were ‘purely precautionary’.


The outbreak of the deadly virus has killed 25 people so far and infected more than 600 worldwide( UK, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, and the United States).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said earlier it is ‘too early’ to declare an international public health emergency over the outbreak ‘given its restrictive and binary nature’.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said: ‘Make no mistake, this is though an emergency in China. But it has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one.’

According to researchers, the virus, which can cause pneumonia, fever, difficulty breathing, and a cough may have been transmitted to humans from snakes.


#Newsworthy…

Coronavirus: Lagos Govt Alert Residents


Lagos State has assured residents that it is prepared for any eventuality on the fast-spreading Coronavirus from East Asia.

The State health commissioner, Akin Abayomi in a statement Thursday said, “The State Government is very committed to the health and safety of her citizens and there is no cause for panic or alarm.

China first reported the emergence of coronavirus at the end of December, the SARS-like virus has infected more than 500 and killed 17.


The country has consequently locked down Wuhan, a major travel hub and a city of 11 million Chinese residents.

Majority of the victims were elderly individuals with pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes and liver cirrhosis. It all hailed from central Hubei province, where a local seafood market in the capital city of Wuhan is believed to be the epicentre of the epidemic


In December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO), China Country office was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause which was detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China.

While there have been recent reports of the widespread of the communicable virus globally, none has been recorded in Nigeria and Africa.

Abayomi said the Lagos State Biosecurity team in collaboration with Lagos University Teaching Hospital has taken proactive steps to identify the virus through the Biosecurity facility located at the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba.

“We are In touch with the National Center for Disease Control in Abuja to align our strategies. Importantly we are also collaborating with the Federal Ports Authority at air, land and sea border posts to elevate screening and surveillance of incoming travellers,” Abayomi said.


#Newsworthy…

Coronavirus: 500 infected, 17 killed


The first fatality of China’s new virus would come to represent a common set of traits for those who died to the disease: he was over the age of 60 and in poor health.

Since China reported the emergence of a new coronavirus at the end of December, the SARS-like virus has infected more than 500 and killed 17.


So far, the majority of the victims were elderly individuals with pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes and liver cirrhosis.

All hailed from central Hubei province, where a local seafood market in the capital city of Wuhan is believed to be the epicentre of the epidemic.


But while older individuals have died from the Wuhan virus, some younger patients — including a 10-year-old boy — have since been released from the hospital.

Here’s what we know so far about the deaths:
Most victims were over 60


According to details released by China’s National Health Commission (NHC) on Thursday, the 17 victims of the virus were between 48 and 89 years old.

Only two were under the age of 60, while the average age of the victims was 73.


Most of them died this week, according to the NHC.

Among those who have been discharged from the hospital were younger patients, including a 35-year-old man from Shenzhen, a bustling tech hub in southern Guangdong province.


He was released from the hospital on Wednesday, according to the local health commission, as well as the 10-year-old boy who had visited relatives in Wuhan before falling ill.

Many had pre-existing health conditions. Many of those who died from the virus also had pre-existing health issues before contracting the Wuhan disease, such as diabetes and hypertension.


One man, an 86-year-old who was hospitalised on January 9, had surgery for colon cancer four years prior, on top of suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes.

Another, an 80-year-old woman surnamed Hu, had Parkinson’s Disease and more than 20 years of high blood pressure and diabetes in her medical history.


Some were hospitalised for weeks before dying. Several of the 17 victims were hospitalised for weeks before dying — raising questions on the preparedness of hospitals that may have to treat patients for long periods of time.

The youngest victim of the Wuhan virus, a woman surnamed Yin, was hospitalised for more than a month before succumbing to the virus.


On December 10, the 48-year-old woman reported a fever, coughing, body soreness, and fatigue, and underwent anti-infection treatment for two weeks, according to the NHC.

Later at the end of the month, Yin suffered shortness of breath and chest tightness, and she passed away on January 20.


Not all of them had a fever

Currently, Wuhan authorities are screening passengers for fever at the airport, railway stations, and bus terminals.

At four airports in Thailand, authorities introduced mandatory thermal scans of passengers arriving from high-risk areas of China.


But not all those who died after being infected reported a fever before being hospitalised, according to the NHC.

A 66-year-old man surnamed Luo reported a “mainly dry cough” but no fever on December 22 before suffering from shortness of breath more than a week later.


By mid-January, Luo required a ventilator to help him breathe.

“A major concern is the range of severity of symptoms this virus is causing,” said Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Welcome Trust.

“It is clear some people are being affected and are infectious while experiencing only very mild symptoms or possibly without experiencing symptoms at all,” he said in an emailed statement.

“This may be masking the true numbers infected and the extent of person to person transmission,” he added.


#Newsworthy…

Coronavirus: 2 cities shut down


China locked down nearly 20 million in two cities at the centre of a deadly virus outbreak on Thursday, banning planes and trains from leaving in an unprecedented move aimed at containing the disease which has already spread to other countries.

The respiratory virus has claimed 17 lives since emerging from a seafood and animal market in Wuhan, infected hundreds of other people nationwide and been detected as far away as the United States.


Streets and shopping centres in Wuhan, a major port city in central Hubei province with a population of 11 million people, were eerily quiet after authorities told residents not to leave town “without a special reason”.

Trains and planes out of Wuhan were indefinitely suspended, tollways on roads out the city were closed, leading to fear and panic for those who were trapped.


Hours later, authorities in neighbouring Huanggang announced that public transport and train services would be suspended at midnight, while people were told to not leave the city of 7.5 million.

All of Huanggang’s cinemas, internet cafes, and the central market will close.


A third city, 1.1 million-population Ezhou, announced the train station had been temporarily closed earlier in the day.

“We are feeling as though it is the end of the world,” said one Wuhan resident on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform, voicing concerns about shortages of food and disinfectant.


Another described being on the “verge of tears” when the de facto quarantine was announced, with the misery compounded by it coming on the eve of the Lunar New Year holiday.

In Beijing, the government cancelled massive gatherings that usually attract throngs at temples during the New Year holiday.


Empty streets
Wuhan’s train station and the airport, which should have been packed with people coming travelling for holiday family reunions, were almost empty except for workers on Thursday afternoon.

The few people wandering in the streets of the city were wearing masks as mandated by police.


At a shopping centre that would have been packed in normal times, a man who works there said he understood the government’s measures.

“Even if we can’t celebrate the New Year this year, there’s always next year,” said the man surnamed Sun.


Taxis in Wuhan tripled their fares, a driver admitted.

“It’s very dangerous to be outside at this moment but we need to earn money,” the driver said.


Confusion, alarm
More than 570 people have been infected with the virus across China — with most cases found in Wuhan, where a seafood market that illegally sold wild animals has been identified as the epicentre of the outbreak.

The coronavirus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

Like SARS, it can be passed among people through the respiratory tract.


The first case of the new virus was confirmed on December 31, and it has since been detected in Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States.

The 17 people who died in China were aged from 48 to 89, and had pre-existing health conditions, Chinese health authorities said Thursday.


The World Health Organization on Wednesday delayed a decision on whether to declare a global health emergency — a rare instrument used only for the worst outbreaks.

The emergency committee will meet again on Thursday after experts were split over declaring a public health emergency.


WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “more information” was needed but he also praised China’s “very, very strong measures” that will help control the epidemic and “minimise the chances of this outbreak spreading internationally”.

‘Sealed off’
With hundreds of millions of people travelling across China this week for the Lunar New Year holiday, the National Health Commission announced on Wednesday measures to curb the disease nationwide — including sterilisation and ventilation at airports and bus stations, as well as inside planes and trains.


Wuhan’s special anti-virus command centre said the quarantine measures were meant to “effectively cut off the virus spread, resolutely curb the outbreak and guarantee the people’s health and safety,” according to state media.

While departures were banned, trains and planes were still allowed into the city.

The city’s tourism and culture department cancelled all group tours until February 8, according to state media.


Wuhan has also cancelled large public events for the Lunar New Year holiday, which starts Friday.

Unknowns
Animals are suspected to be the primary source of the outbreak, with Chinese health officials saying the virus originated from the market where wild animals were illegally sold.


Studies published this week suggest that the virus may have originated in bats or snakes.

The WHO has confirmed that the virus can be passed between people, at least those in close contact. Chinese health officials warned it could mutate and spread further.


“There are many unknowns to address in this event including clinical severity and the true extent and nature of disease transmission,” said Michael Ryan, head of the WHO’s health emergencies programme.

Chinese authorities on Thursday reported dozens of new infections, bringing the confirmed total to 571. About 5,000 people remain under medical observation.


But scientists at the Imperial College in London estimate that 4,000 people have been infected in Wuhan.

Countries have intensified efforts to stop the spread of the pathogen — known by its technical name 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Passengers are facing screening measures at airports around the world.


China ‘commendable’
Tedros, the WHO chief, on Wednesday indicated the situation was not escalating out of control, saying there was “stability” for the moment.

He also praised China’s openness about the outbreak as “commendable”.

But a senior US State Department official said Washington was “still concerned” about transparency in the Chinese government.

During the SARS epidemic, the Chinese government took months to report the disease and initially denied WHO experts access to southern Guangdong province, where it originated.


#Newsworthy…

Coronavirus: China warn travelers as death rate increases


Chinese authorities have urged people to stop travelling in and out of Wuhan, the city at the centre of a new virus outbreak that has killed 17 people.

Those living in the city of 8.9 million people have also been told to avoid crowds and minimise public gatherings.


The new virus has spread from Wuhan to several Chinese provinces, as well as the US, Thailand and South Korea.

There are 440 confirmed cases, with the origin a seafood market that “conducted illegal transactions of wild animals”.


Late on Wednesday the Chinese authorities confirmed the number of dead had almost doubled – from nine – in the space of a day. All fatalities so far have been in Hubei, the province around Wuhan.

Officials in Hong Kong also reported the territory’s first two cases.


Meanwhile, in Geneva, the World Health Organization’s emergency committee is meeting to assess the global risks posed by the virus and decide if it should be declared an international public health emergency – as happened with swine flu and Ebola.

Such a declaration, if made, could see advice issued on travel or trade restrictions.


China drug makers soar on virus contagion fears
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Chinese social media users worry over virus
Chinese authorities admitted the country was now at the “most critical stage” of prevention and control.

“Basically, do not go to Wuhan. And those in Wuhan please do not leave the city,” said National Health Commission vice-minister Li Bin in one of the first public briefings since the beginning of the outbreak.


Earlier this week, China confirmed that human-to-human transmission of the virus had taken place.

The virus, known also as 2019-nCoV, is understood to be a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans. The Sars virus that killed nearly 800 people globally in the early 2000s was also a coronavirus.


Signs of infection with the new virus include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

The first US case was confirmed on Tuesday. President Donald Trump said the situation was “totally under control” and that he trusted the information being provided by Chinese authorities.


What is the latest on the outbreak?

Media captionChina health officials: “Don’t go to Wuhan, don’t leave Wuhan”
Mr Li said there was evidence that the disease was “mainly transmitted through the respiratory tract”. In general, coughs and sneezes are a highly effective way for viruses to spread.


But China has still not been able to confirm the exact source of the virus.

“Though the transmission route of the virus is yet to be fully understood, there is a possibility of virus mutation and a risk of further spread of the epidemic,” said Mr Li.


He added that there were 2,197 people who were known to have come into contact with infected patients.

No “super spreader” – a patient who has transmitted the virus to more than 10 people – has been discovered so far.

At least 15 medical workers in Wuhan, who presumably came into contact with patients, are known to be infected.

It’s not a Chinese mega-city as well known as Beijing or Shanghai, but Wuhan has connections with every part of the globe. Only slightly smaller than London, the city is home to an international airport that handles tens of millions of passengers each year.


These global links explain why the cases of the virus abroad have all involved people either from Wuhan or who had recently visited it.

The city has economic clout too – nearly half of the world’s 500 biggest companies have invested there.


How fast is the virus spreading?
There’s no way to know but it’s likely to be exacerbated by the millions of people across China who are travelling within the country for the Lunar New Year week-long holiday. Thousands are also travelling abroad.

Authorities confirmed that human-to-human transmission of the virus had taken place
Mr Li added that the festival would “increase the risk of the disease spreading and the difficulty of prevention and control”.


He said strict measures to control the disease would be put in place, calling for those in Wuhan to “avoid crowds and minimise public gatherings”.

These measures include temperature screening for all those leaving Wuhan, and improved sterilisation and ventilation at major transport hubs.


New China virus: Your questions answered
A ban on the trade of live poultry and wild animals has also been implemented in the city. State media reports said police were conducting spot checks to make sure this was enforced.

The disease may have originally been passed from an animal to a human, said Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.


The outbreak is believed to have come from a market trading illegal wildlife in Wuhan
Where else have cases been reported?
There have been a handful of global cases: three cases in Thailand, one in Korea, one in Japan, one in Taiwan and one in the US.

On Wednesday, the city of Macau also reported its first confirmed case of the virus. The patient is said to be a businesswoman who arrived from Wuhan over the weekend.

Authorities in many places, including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the US, Russia and Japan have stepped up screening of air passengers from Wuhan.

The UK is expected to begin screening passengers arriving at London’s Heathrow airport from Wuhan.

Airports around the world have stepped up screening of passengers
In Australia, a man who had travelled to Wuhan has been placed in isolation and is undergoing tests.

Are the numbers accurate?
Experts say there could be many cases going undetected and they expect the official numbers to rapidly increase.


Researchers from the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London now estimate that there have probably been about 4,000 cases in Wuhan.

The centre’s director, Prof Neil Ferguson, however said that the Chinese authorities had been “remarkably open” amid an “enormously demanding situation”.


How the virus has spread

31 December: China alerts the WHO about a spate of pneumonia-like cases in Wuhan

1 January: The seafood/animal market believed to be at the centre of the outbreak is closed

9 January: WHO says the infection is caused by a new type of coronavirus

11 January: First death confirmed

13 January: Virus spreads abroad, with a suspected case in Thailand

16 January: A case in Japan is confirmed

17 January: Second death – a 69-year-old in Wuhan

20 January: Number of cases triples to more than 200, and outbreak spreads to Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai; third death confirmed; Chinese officials confirm human-to-human transmission

21 January: US authorities announce the first case in North America – a man who had visited Wuhan

22 January: Death toll climbs to 17, with more than 400 cases confirmed


Just in: Chinese confirmed new virus spreadable


Chinese authorities have on Monday, confirmed the outbreak of a new coronavirus that has spread to more cities, tripling the number of patients.

The Daxing health commission in Beijing said it had confirmed two cases of coronavirus, while the southern Guangdong province’s health commission confirmed one case in Shenzhen. They mark the first cases in China beyond the central city of Wuhan where the virus first emerged.


The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said 136 new cases of pneumonia caused by the coronavirus strain had been found in the city over the weekend, adding to 62 already known cases. A third death occurred on Saturday, the authority said in a statement.

This brings the total number of known cases worldwide to more than 200, underscoring the challenge for health authorities seeking to contain the outbreak. South Korea on Monday reported its first confirmed case of the coronavirus, a 35-year-old female Chinese national who had traveled from Wuhan, the fourth patient to be reported outside China.

Hundreds of millions of Chinese tourists will be traveling domestically and abroad during the Lunar New Year holiday period that starts later this week.

A report by London Imperial College’s MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis estimated that by Jan. 12 there were 1,723 cases in Wuhan City with the onset of related symptoms. Chinese health authorities have not commented directly on the report.


#Newsworthy…