Coronavirus Update: 14,000 Cases, First Death from Virus Outside China, France Repatriates EU Citizens from Wuhan

By Jeremy Del Nero on 2 February 2020
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The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus is now up to 14,380 as of Sunday, according to officials in China.  The figure grew by over 2,000 in the past 24 hours.  At least 305 have died from the virus and the first death from the virus outside China was reported.

The Philippines reported the death of a 44-year-old visitor from Wuhan on Sunday, and the Wuhan government said it will send anyone showing symptoms of infection to a dedicated isolation zone, even against that person’s will.

Twenty-six countries and territories now have confirmed cases. The list includes Australia, Britain, Cambodia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, MacauNepal, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

The Chinese government said it repatriated 73 citizens from Wuhan from Thailand  on Friday. The passengers, wearing masks and greeted by officials in full protective gear, waved and smiled at reporters and photographers as they deplaned.  France repatriated European nationals from 30 countries, including 65 from France, who were stranded in Wuhan.  The French nationals will be quarantined for 14 days and the others will return to their home countries, which include Czechia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Earlier in the week, a report by scientists in Hong Kong suggests that the total number of people in Wuhan infected by the novel coronavirus could be as high as 75,815.  Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus is now up to 11,791, according to figures reported by officials in China. Over 259 have died from the virus thus far, all of them in China.

The research, published in the Lancet on Saturday, is based on the assumption that each infected person could have passed the virus on to 2.68 others.  The total of 75,815 is based on the number of confirmed cases as of last Tuesday and that figure has risen sharply since then.

In addition, officials in the Hubei province took additional steps to contain the virus.  The city of Huanggang, which has a population of 7.4 million people, imposed restrictions on when residents may leave their homes.  Under the new rules, one member of the household may leave every two days in order to purchase food and other necessities but residents must otherwise remain at home.

Meanwhile, the United States is barring any foreign national who has traveled to China in the past 14 days from entering the United States. The temporary rule exempts immediate family members of American citizens and permanent residents.  The move follows Thursday’s declaration by the World Health Organization of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines joined the United States in barring foreigners who have recently traveled to China.

The U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 travel advisory telling Americans not to travel to China, also following the WHO announcement.  The Level 4 “Do Not Travel” warning from the State Department is the agency’s most severe, placing China on the same list as North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, and Venezuela.

The United States will limit inbound flights from China to three airports, namely New York’s John F. Kennedy International, Chicago’s O’Hare International, and San Francisco International.  Any U.S. citizen returning from the Hubei province will be subject to 14 days of quarantine upon arrival.  Those arriving from other parts of China will be subject to “proactive entry screening” and up to 14 days of monitoring and self-quarantine.

The three largest airlines in the United States – American, United, and Delta – suspended all flights to mainland China on Friday.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)


Accura News

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