China cancels Lunar New Year events over deadly virus fears

Daniel Fowler
January 23, 2020

China is putting on lockdown a city of 11 million people considered the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak that has killed 17 and infected almost 600 people, as health authorities around the world work to prevent a global pandemic.

A senior U.S. State Department official also called on China to "play a bigger role in global health so they taking more and significant measures to limit or minimize the worldwide spread".

Wuhan is a major industrial hub and manufacturing center with a population of 11 million, and trying to contain movement in and out of the city is a radical step by authorities. Around midnight local time, authorities began cutting off public transportation in the cities of Huanggang and Ezhou, both located around 75 kilometers (45 miles) east of Wuhan in Hubei province.

Since health officials became aware of the virus in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December previous year, a total of 17 people have died and 555 cases have been confirmed by Chinese health officials, according to a map updated by Johns Hopkins University.

A nurse working at a hospital in Saudi Arabia is the first Indian to be infected by the coronavirus, a minister said. The mysterious virus is thought to have originated in one of the city's fish markets.

According to Dr. Kamran Khan, one of the reasons why assessing Canada's risk level remains hard to assess is because there's no non-stop flights from Wuhan, the Chinese city in which the virus was first detected, to Canada.

The father was hospitalised on January 17 with a high fever, days before his son showed symptoms, health officials said.

The Chinese city of Wuhan, epicentre of a new coronavirus outbreak, will build a dedicated hospital to treat patients, which it aims to complete in six days, state media outlet Beijing News reported.

It cited an unnamed source at the construction company that will build it.

Mum accused of fatally smothering her three children appears in court
The father, 30, and a relative, 49, known in court records as the owner of the home and an aunt were also taken for interrogation. Catelin Klug, who has talked often with Henry in the last few months, told KNXV-TV that Henry spoke highly of her children .

Wuhan residents called for help and shared worries of food shortages, with streets in the virus-hit central Chinese city deserted after it was put on lockdown.

All of the deceased were between 48 and 89 years old. After he bought some, the person behind him in the queue bought the remaining stock in the shop.

"Residents should not leave Wuhan unless there's a special reason", the announcement said.

WHO convened its emergency committee of independent experts on Thursday to consider whether the outbreak should be declared a global health emergency, after the group failed to come to a consensus on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Chinese Communist Party asked provincial leaders to be as transparent as possible and warned against concealing the outbreak of infections or putting political interests ahead of public health.

Contrasting with its secrecy over the 2002-03 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, which killed almost 800 people, China's communist government has this time given regular updates to try to avoid panic as millions of people travel for the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday.

Experts monitoring the spread of China's new coronavirus say that Canada's risk level for an outbreak is still unclear, but it's a level that can evolve and increase as global infections continue to skyrocket.

The researchers, including Wei Ji from Peking University Health Science Centre in China, said patients who became infected with the coronavirus-named 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organization (WHO)-were exposed to wildlife animals at a wholesale market, where seafood, poultry, snake, bats, and farm animals were sold.

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