China orders nationwide measures to detect virus on flights, trains, buses

Daniel Fowler
January 25, 2020

According to the students of the University, they were the first ones in Wuhan City to wear masks while going out in public as, according to them, the news about the outbreak was not officially declared by China.

Beijing's Lama Temple, where people traditionally make offerings for the new year, has also closed, as have some other temples and the Forbidden City, the capital's most famous tourist attraction.

Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Macao, Hong Kong, France and the United States all have people infected with the new virus.

Ever since China put a ban on transportation services in several of its provinces following the outbreak of Coronavirus, there has been uncertainty and fear in the mind of Kerala native Anaz*, a fifth year medical student, who has been stranded in Wuhan City of Hubei Province of China, the epicentre of the epidemic.

Every patient outside of China was someone who had traveled from Wuhan, and so far there is no evidence of the virus being transmitted between people beyond China's borders. It can also cause fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

It is not clear how lethal the new coronavirus is, or even whether it is as risky as the ordinary flu, which kills tens of thousands of people every year in the US alone. "There are other cases being tested each day, many of them are negative, but I wouldn't be surprised if we had further confirmed cases".

That came after China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism ordered travel agencies and tourism companies to suspend operations and stop selling tour packages beginning Friday, Tourism Bureau Director-General Chou Yung-hui (周永暉) said on the bureau's Facebook page.

The outbreak began in Wuhan in central China and has spread to the rest of the country and overseas as people travel for the holiday.

The rapid increase in reported deaths and illnesses does not necessarily mean the crisis is getting worse.

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The Ministry of Commerce is coordinating an effort to supply more than 2 million masks and other products from elsewhere in the country, Xinhua said.

China's National Health Commission said it had formed six medical teams totalling 1,230 medical staff to help Wuhan. The city is rushing to build a 1,000-bed hospital by Monday, state media said. It is hoped it will be completed by the first week of February. The authorities have restricted travel for residents and suspended transport services, including the subway, buses, and ferries.

"We see how hard it is in today's world to close the frontiers".

"We're taking all precautions possible", she said in a statement.

Later on Saturday, authorities said three men in Sydney who had recently arrived from China had tested positive for the disease and were in isolation in local hospitals.

In the US, the latest person confirmed to have the disease was reported to be doing well.

Airports across the nation have set up checkpoints to screen passengers from China and other countries for signs of illness, with local authorities accelerating quarantine efforts to contain the virus as a countless number of people visit relatives back home or travel overseas.

Beijing has already stressed it will mobilize all its resources to contain the disease and even took steps to close off around a dozen cities and famous tourist attractions to control the spread.

There are now almost 1,300 confirmed cases all across China, though most concentrated in those closest to Hubei. A spokesman for the province said numerous coronavirus symptoms are similar to those of seasonal influenza, but patients will be tested out of an abundance of caution.

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