Coronavirus deaths hit 56, China bans wildlife trade

Katie Ramirez
February 3, 2020

What's more, China's health minister, Ma Xiaowei, made the claim that the virus could be spread without observable symptoms, which is a "game-changer", according to an adviser to the CDC.

The U.S. has issued travel warnings to Hubei Province, China, which is where the majority of the cases and all of the fatalities have been reported.

The pneumonia outbreak was first reported in Wuhan City, central China's Hubei Province, in December 2019.

Separately, the province of Henan reported one death from coronavirus infection.

President Xi Jinping on Saturday called the outbreak a grave situation and said the government was stepping up efforts to restrict travel and public gatherings while rushing medical staff and supplies to the city at the centre of the crisis, Wuhan, which remains on lockdown with no flights, trains or buses in or out.

The United States announced on Sunday it would organise flights to evacuate diplmoatic personnel and other nationals from the area with a direct flight to San Francisco early next week.

But a growing number of other countries are reporting cases, mainly of people returning from China - especially from Wuhan.

NSW Health on Sunday confirmed there were a total of five cases under investigation.

China's National Health Commission said anyone travelling from Wuhan is now required to register with community health stations and quarantine themselves at home for 14 days - the virus' maximum incubation period.

BC has now tested 114 people for the novel coronavirus
The number of countries reporting infections rose to 24 after Britain, Russia and Sweden confirmed their first cases this weekend. It warned Friday that closing borders was probably ineffective in halting transmission and could accelerate the virus's spread.

"We are faced with a hard situation, as the spread of the new coronavirus is accelerating", China's President said during the CPC Central Committee meeting on Saturday.

Cases have also been reported in South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, as well as the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau.

The government says most deaths involved the elderly or people already weakened by pre-existing health conditions.

Among the European countries, France confirmed three cases Friday, the first in Europe, and the USA identified its second, a woman in Chicago who had returned from China.

Health officials are racing to find hundreds of airline passengers who flew from Wuhan to Sydney with a man infected with the deadly coronavirus.

Hong Kong said Disneyland and Ocean Park would be closed from January 26 to help prevent the spread of the virus. Saturday, a Toronto hospital said it confirmed Canada's first case. The person has been in contact with the agency and "was provided guidance in order to reduce exposure to the public while awaiting laboratory confirmation", the OCHCA said in a written statement. He had previously been in Wuhan, where the virus is thought to have originated in an illegal wildlife market.

The spread of the virus is unprecedented.

Those infected with coronavirus display respiratory symptoms including fever, a cough, and shortness of breath.

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