Coronavirus Beaking News !!!! UPDATING
Vietnam says suspending all China flights over coronavirus
The directive applies to all airlines “which have routes between Vietnam and China” and is effective from Saturday, it added.
Source: Straits Time
Australia confirms new cases, bringing total to 12
A woman and a man, both aged 60, have been diagnosed with the virus and are in isolation at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, according to a statement posted on the South Australia Health Facebook page.
Germany confirms 7th coronavirus case and evacuates 100 citizens from Wuhan
The male patient is employed at the same workplace as five other confirmed cases, who all contracted the virus from a co-worker visiting from China.
Australia bans foreign arrivals from China as deaths hit 259
Australian citizens coming from China will have to be quarantined for two weeks, said Morrison. Half a million masks will also be provided for those coming off flights from China, while thermometers and special screening arrangements will also be set up at airports.
Vietnam confirms sixth coronavirus case
The patient is a 25-year-old hotel receptionist in the Khanh Hoa province.
Sweden’s Public Health Agency said on Friday that a woman had tested positive for coronavirus and was being kept isolated at a hospital in southern Sweden.
Coronavirus Live Updates: Singapore Will Bar Entries From China
The city-state said it would stop issuing visas to people with Chinese passports and deny entry to foreigners who had visited China in the past 14 days.
RIGHT NOW Russia confirmed its first cases and said it would close its border with Mongolia.
Singapore and Mongolia will bar entries from China.
Singapore on Friday announced a sweeping ban on Chinese visitors and other foreigners who had been to China in the past 14 days, in an escalation of travel restrictions by the Southeast Asian transportation hub.
The city-state will also stop issuing all forms of visas to people holding Chinese passports, Lawrence Wong, the minister for national development, said on Friday.
Singapore currently has 13 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The outbreak and the entry shutdown will be another blow to its economy, which was already hit by the fallout from the United States-China trade war.
Regional neighbors and airlines from countries that have not had any confirmed cases are also taking extra precautions to cope with rapidly spreading epidemic.
The government of Mongolia, a landlocked country between China and Russia, said on Friday that it would close its border with China until March 2 in an effort to prevent the virus from being imported.
The authorities said they would work to bring home 30 Mongolian nationals from Wuhan, and its citizens in China would have until Feb. 6 to return. Non-Chinese foreigners visiting Mongolia will also not be able to enter through China.
Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing government, rocked by months of antigovernment protests and public distrust, has come under fire for not sealing off its border with mainland China.Some nations and airlines are also clamping down on travel. The flag carriers of Rwanda and Kenya, RwandAir and Kenya Airways, said they would cancel all flights to and from Guangzhou, the southern Chinese metropolis, until further notice. There have been no confirmed cases in Africa.
Poland’s national airline, LOT Polish Airlines, has suspended flights to China until Feb. 9 because of the outbreak, a deputy prime minister said on Twitter. More than a dozen people suspected of having the coronavirus are hospitalized in Poland, and over 500 people are being monitored by health services.
Trinidad and Tobago has also imposed a two-week travel ban on Chinese visitors, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh announced on Thursday. Scientists have said that the incubation period for the coronavirus could last as long as 14 days.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China, meanwhile, said 117 Hubei residents in Bangkok and 100 in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, would be repatriated on two planes on Friday. Passengers could voluntarily pay for their tickets, an official report said.
The State Department tells Americans not to travel to China.
The State Department on Thursday night issued a travel advisory telling Americans not to travel to China because of the public health threat posed by the dangerous new coronavirus. The department set the new advisory at Level 4, or red — its highest alert, reserved for the most perilous situations.
“Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice,” the State Department said. “Commercial carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China.”
The World Health Organization on Thursday declared the outbreak a global emergency after cases were discovered in more than a dozen countries.
More than 200 people have died, with about 9,800 infections confirmed.The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has gone up more than tenfold in a week, and Chinese officials on Friday reported the highest death toll in a 24-hour period.
◆ Forty-three more deaths in China were announced, bringing the toll to 213.
◆ Nearly 2,000 new cases were recorded in the country in the past 24 hours, raising the worldwide total to nearly 9,800, according to Chinese and World Health Organization data. The vast majority of the cases are inside China; about 100 cases have been confirmed in 19 other countries.
◆ Tibet has reported its first confirmed case. This means that all of China’s provinces and territories have now been touched by the outbreak.
◆ Countries and territories that have confirmed cases: Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, Malaysia, Macau, France, the United States, South Korea, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Britain, Vietnam, Italy, India, the Philippines, Nepal, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Finland.
◆ Cases recorded in Thailand, Taiwan, Germany, Vietnam, Japan, France and the United States involved patients who had not been to China. No deaths have been reported outside China.
The first two confirmed cases are reported in Britain.
On Friday, Britain’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, said that two residents had tested positive for coronavirus, the first known cases in the country.
In a statement, Mr. Whitty said the patients were members of the same family.
“The N.H.S. is extremely well prepared and used to managing infections,” Mr. Whitty said. “We are already working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had, to prevent further spread.”
The announcement came as a flight carrying 83 British and 27 foreign nationals from Wuhan, China, the center of the outbreak, landed in Britain on Friday afternoon.
The Britons were to be quarantined at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral, in northwest England, according to the BBC. The others will be flown on to Spain.
That brings to 19 the total number of countries outside mainland China and its territories with confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
Britain’s National Health Service “is very well prepared and did an extremely good job creating and caring for patients with Ebola,” said Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, referring to the virus outbreak in 2014.
Her team is developing a vaccine against the coronavirus and expects the first clinical testing in June, Professor Gilbert said in a phone interview on Friday.
“From there it will need to be extended into further trials,” she added. “What’s done next will depend on how much the virus spreads around the world.”
Italy reports its first cases, and declares an emergency.
The Italian government declared a six-month state of emergency on Friday after the first two cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Rome, according to a government official.
In a statement, the government said that it had allocated the “necessary funds” to begin precautionary measures. A government official said on Friday that five million euros (about $5.5 million) had been set aside.
Two Chinese nationals were being held in isolation at Rome’s Spallanzani Hospital, which specializes in infectious diseases, after they tested positive for the virus.
The husband and wife arrived in Milan a week ago and traveled to Parma and other cities before arriving in Rome, where the husband began showing flu symptoms, the official said.
The two cases were announced on Thursday, capping a tense day in Italy, after thousands of passengers had been blocked from leaving a cruise ship that docked at an Italian port for more than 12 hours over concerns that someone aboard might have had the virus. That episode was ultimately found to be a false alarm.
A Chinese national with a fever later tested negative for the coronavirus, and the Italian authorities said that passengers were allowed to disembark.
Thailand reports its first person-to-person transmission.
The health authorities in Thailand said that a taxi driver with no recent history of having traveled to China had tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the number of patients there to 19.
Because the driver said he had not been to China, the health authorities suspect that he caught the virus from another person.
“The taxi driver is a Thai national and has no history of traveling to China,” said Dr. Tanarak Plipat, the deputy director general of the Department of Disease Control. “Therefore, we initially suspect that he contracted it from a Chinese traveler.”
Four other new patients, Chinese men, had been in Wuhan at some point, according to a statement from Thailand’s ministry of public health.
Seven of the patients have been discharged and the remaining 12 are hospitalized and receiving treatment.
Russia reports two cases and will close a border.
Russia reported its first two coronavirus cases on Friday, both in Siberia, among Chinese nationals who had recently traveled to China.
The two patients — one in the Zabaikal region on the Mongolian and Chinese border and the other in the Tyumen region, north of Kazakhstan — both arrived from China in late January. They were now hospitalized in stable conditions, Russian officials said.
Russia, which shares a 2,600-mile border with China, has been racing to prevent the spread of the disease. It closed the border to pedestrians and cars on Thursday, and Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana A. Golikova said that Russia’s border with Mongolia would be closed to Chinese citizens. Russia will also temporarily stop issuing work visas to Chinese citizens, she added.
Russia was preparing to evacuate hundreds of its citizens from the Chinese province of Hubei, the center of the virus outbreak, Ms. Golikova said. Those who take the evacuation flights will be placed in quarantine upon arrival.
Ms. Golikova said that all commercial flights to China would be suspended except for a few into Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. The airport’s Terminal F has been outfitted to screen arriving passengers for the disease, she said.
Hong Kong calls for ‘social distancing’ but won’t seal off the city from mainland China.
Hong Kong’s executive, Carrie Lam, on Friday called for “social distancing” as officials asked civil servants to work from home and for schools to stay closed for a few more weeks.
But Mrs. Lam said in a news conference that she would not seal off Hong Kong from mainland China, saying that such a move was “not in line with W.H.O.’s guideline.”
The World Health Organization on Thursday declared the outbreak a global health emergency, though governments were not obligated to act on that decision.
Hong Kong, a semiautonomous territory of China that has been embroiled in anti-Beijing protests for months, has confirmed 12 cases of the coronavirus. All but one victim contracted the disease on the mainland and brought it to Hong Kong, officials say. They are investigating the 12th infection, Mrs. Lam said.
Mrs. Lam cited a lack of masks for the new rules limiting personal contact. Since the growing threat from the coronavirus became clear last week, Hong Kong residents have lined up outside pharmacies to buy masks, hand sanitizer and other supplies in the belief they would stem the spread of the outbreak.
City workers who do not provide essential emergency services are being asked to work from home next week. Schools have been shut since last week for the Lunar New Year holiday, which in Hong Kong ended on Tuesday. But officials extended the closings to March 2 from Feb. 17.
In a twist, China to evacuate Wuhan residents from foreign countries.
As foreign governments evacuated their citizens from China this week, the government of China said it was arranging chartered flights to bring Wuhan residents who were overseas back to the epicenter of the outbreak.
Citing the “practical difficulties recently encountered” by residents abroad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Friday that evacuations would begin as soon as possible.
The decision to facilitate people’s return came after Wuhan’s mayor revealed that five million people had left the city last week ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, before travel restrictions were enforced.
Unnerved by the exodus, some regional countries and territories have banned entry to people from Wuhan or Hubei Province.
Travel restrictions across China and the suspension of international flights to the country have left Chinese travelers stranded around the world.
But it was unclear if the Chinese government was also targeting those who had intentionally fled the center of the outbreak. It was similarly unknown where the residents had traveled.
Comments in the state news media hailed the move as a heroic repatriation effort, but others expressed skepticism about the plan’s logistical challenges and whether some residents would even want to return.
Chinese campuses are telling students to stay away.
Chinese schools and universities have extended their holidays to help contain the coronavirus. Foreign students in China are leaving in droves. Some American and Australian universities have restricted travel to China.
China’s education ministry ordered schools and universities to lengthen their winter holidays, though it was left to each province to decide on dates. In Hong Kong, a semiautonomous region, a few universities have suspended classes until March 2, and local news media reported that primary and secondary schools would do the same, along with kindergartens.
Chinese education officials urged students to stay at home and not to participate in group activities. Schools and universities across the country asked teachers and students to report their temperature and health conditions every day over messaging apps. Renmin University in Beijing asked faculty and staff who were out of town for the Lunar New Year holiday to delay their return trips.
About half a million foreign students were studying in China as of 2018, including over 20,000 Americans.
The Inter-University Program for Chinese Studies, a language training program on the campus of Tsinghua University in Beijing, canceled classes for the spring semester. New York University Shanghai delayed the start of the spring semester until Feb. 17. Duke Kunshan University near Shanghai delayed it until Feb. 24.
Duke urged all its students to return home as soon as possible, except those from Hubei Province, where the outbreak began.
The education ministry also canceled standardized English-language exams that were scheduled for January and February. Many universities in English-speaking countries require foreign students to take such tests as part of their applications.
While the students can reschedule the tests, the change of plan will create uncertainties. Many Chinese students plan for those tests months in advance, or even years.
The effects could ripple across universities abroad that rely on tuition fees paid by Chinese students. Australia is currently home to more than 150,000 Chinese students, and one-third of the international students in the United States — nearly 370,000 — came from China last year.
The prominence of Chinese students on those campuses raises the possibility that they could be perceived as vulnerable to the virus. The University of New South Wales in Sydney said one of its students had tested positive for the virus after traveling directly to Sydney from the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.
In the United States, Arizona State University announced on Sunday that the authorities had found a confirmed case on campus. The infected person does not live in university housing, “is not severely ill and is currently in isolation to keep the illness from spreading,” the university said.
Some students nevertheless panicked, launching an online petition to cancel classes. The university said it would stay open.
W.H.O. declares the outbreak a global health emergency.
The World Health Organization declared on Thursday that the new coronavirus outbreak was a global health emergency, acknowledging that the disease represents a risk outside of China, where it emerged last month.
The declaration — officially called a Public Health Emergency of International Concern — serves notice to all United Nations member states that the world’s top health advisory body rates the situation as serious.
Countries can then decide whether to close their borders, cancel flights, screen people arriving at airports or take other measures.
The decision came as cases have begun to appear in people who had not traveled to China during the outbreak.
A mask heist occurs in Hong Kong amid a desperate shortage.
Someone stole 25,000 face masks from a warehouse in Hong Kong on Friday as the city, still haunted by memories of SARS nearly 17 years ago, is struggling with a severe shortage.
The police said 500 boxes containing 50 masks each were reported missing from a building in an industrial neighborhood. The warehouse mostly supplied an e-commerce platform in the city, The Apple Daily newspaper reported.
The theft came as residents in Hong Kong desperately searched for the item, often displayed at inflated prices, in pharmacies and retailers. In a dangerous practice, families that cannot not afford new disposable masks have resorted to reusing them, according to local reports.
Matthew Cheung, the city’s No. 2 official, said Thursday that Hong Kong would use prison labor to boost supplies. Inmates already produce about 50,000 masks each day for hospital and government workers, and they will work around the clock to make millions more, Mr. Cheung said.
Nearly 300 people were killed in the city by SARS, a coronavirus that originated in mainland China in 2002.
Facebook says it will act to stop virus-related misinformation.
it was taking several steps to prevent the spread of misinformation related to the coronavirus, including removing “content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities that could cause harm to people who believe them.”
The statement provided examples: “This includes claims related to false cures or prevention methods — like drinking bleach cures the coronavirus — or claims that create confusion about health resources that are available.”
The company, which plans to promote important virus-related updates at the top of its News Feed, also said that when its third-party fact checkers rate information as false, that information’s spread will be limited on Facebook and Instagram, and users will be shown accurate information instead. Users who try to share posts identified as false, or who have already shared them, will be told that the content has been debunked, the company said.
On Wednesday, Twitter made changes to its search algorithm to prioritize results from reputable health organizations. It said those changes were in place only in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, Britain and Vietnam, but that they would expand as needed. Twitter is blocked in mainland China.