Sydney coronavirus scare as China heads into shutdown

Daniel Fowler
January 25, 2020

The warning comes as China announced Friday that it is swiftly building a 1,000-bed hospital dedicated to patients infected with the coronavirus.

Chinese military has dispatched 450 medical staff to Wuhan.

Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam on Saturday declared a virus emergency in the semi-autonomous territory, announcing that flights and high speed rail trips between Hong Kong and Wuhan would be halted.

Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, has been on virtual lockdown since Thursday, with almost all flights cancelled and checkpoints blocking the main roads leading out of town.

In addition, 19 provinces reported 1118 new suspected cases with 30 provinces now reporting at least one case.

The U.S. consulate contacted known American citizens living in Wuhan where the virus is believed to have originated from and offering them a seat on the 230 person flight back to the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the operation. Hong Kong also canceled a marathon that was expected to draw 70,000 participants on February 9, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported.

"The community needs to understand that it is being well handled in concert with the state and territories, and the Commonwealth government", he said. With restaurants, markets and parks closed, public gatherings banned and public transport suspended, many people have chosen to stay home.

Even if there are still many things unknown about 2019-nCoV, European countries have the necessary capacities to prevent and control an outbreak as soon as cases are detected.

The city will assign 6,000 taxis to different neighbourhoods, under the management of local resident committees, to help people get around if they need to, the state-owned English-language China Daily newspaper said.

China's biggest holiday, the Lunar New Year, unfolded in the shadow of the worrying new virus.

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Several large-scale public events were called off, including Standard Chartered-sponsored Hong Kong Marathon, Lunar New Year Lantern Carnivals, and the Spring Reception of the HKSAR government.

A doctor treating victims infected with the coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan has died from the virus amid signs that the area's health system is struggling to cope with the outbreak.

Hundreds of medical personnel have been deployed to Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, where the virus emerged late past year.

There were a total of nine people in the group who were travelling together with the first male patient: his wife, son, daughter-in-law, two grandsons and another family of four comprising husband and wife and two children.

In Australia, five people are undergoing testing for the virus in NSW and two in Queensland, with a number of people having already been cleared in both states.

Three people have been confirmed to have the Wuhan coronavirus here, Malaysian Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said on Saturday (Jan 25), marking the first cases of the potentially deadly disease in Malaysia.

Two cases, including a Chicago woman returning from China, have been confirmed in the United States.

The virus has been identified as a new type of coronavirus.

Symptoms of coronavirus include fever, sneezing, coughing and shortness of breath.

In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, medical personnel wearing protective clothing interacted with two patients who tested positive for the coronavirus.

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