Coronavirus: 2 Cities Locked down, WHO Not Calling It a Pandemic
The Chinese authorities have locked down a second city in order to contain the spread of the potentially deadly coronavirus. After Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, neighbouring Huanggang, a city of some 6 million people, said it was imposing a similar lockdown, reports Reuters.
They have made masks mandatory for all residents present in the region. Wuhan's municipal government published a notice saying customers in all public places have to wear masks and owners are to prevent people from entering if they are not.
The international airport here has flights to 104 destinations. These include 29 international destinations outside China.
The Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan has called for all-out efforts to curb the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei Province. According to IANS, she called for pooling resources including hospitals, experts, effective drugs and medical equipment to save the patients with the best efforts.
China is now reporting 581 confirmed cases of the potentially deadly coronavirus across 25 provinces. The Chinese National Health Commission said on Thursday that nearly 6000 people cane in contact with infected persons. Of them 4928 are under observation. 95 cases are being called 'severe'.
17 people have died, all in the Hubei province.
Screening in India
A total of 9,156 passengers from 43 flights have been screened for the infection till Tuesday at the seven identified airports, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, according to the Union Health Ministry. So far, no cases have been detected, Health Secretary Preeti Sudan said.
Around 700 Indian students are believed to be studying in Wuhan, most of them are pursuing their PhDs and medicine. While many flew out to India when exams finished in the second week of January, some chose to stay back. Now that the city is in lock down, all flights to and fro have been stopped.
In a presser, Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson for Ministry of External Affairs, said India was taking all precautions.
Macao Confirms Second Case
Macao has confirmed a second case of coronavirus. So far, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia and the United States have reported confirmed cases of the SARS-like virus. The city has cancelled it's lunar new year celebrations.
Hong Kong has stopped selling train tickets to Wuhan, in a bid to contain the spread, reports CNN.
Snakes May Be Behind the Virus
Snakes may be the cause of the virus, seen in humans for the first time.
The Chinese krait and the Chinese cobra (Bungarus multicinctus), also known as the Taiwanese krait or the Chinese krait, is a highly venomous species, reports Conversation. It is commonly found in central and southern China and Southeast Asia. Read more about this in the link below:
WHO Calls it an Evolving Situation
The World Health Organisation held a presser on the spread of coronavirus, calling it an 'evolving situation.'
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, thanked the Chinese authorities for being prompt in sharing information. He said,
"I was very impressed by the detail and depth of China's presentation. I also appreciate the cooperation of China’s Minister of Health, who I have spoken with directly during the last few days and weeks."
He further said that the emergency talks have been extended, and they'll not make the decision to call the outbreak a public health emergency without fully examining the implications.
"The decision about whether or not to declare a public health emergency of international concern is one I take extremely seriously, and one I am only prepared to make with appropriate consideration of all the evidence," the WHO chief said.
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