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Coronavirus outbreak HIGHLIGHTS: UN agency declares global emergency over virus from China

Coronavirus outbreak Latest News Updates: One student in Kerala, who just returned from Wuhan tested positive for the novel Coronavirus and was admitted to the isolation ward in Thrissur District Hospital, state Health Minister KK Shyalaja teacher said Thursday.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 31, 2020 2:19:23 am
Coronavirus outbreak LIVE Updates: Death toll touches 170 in China; GoI plans evacuation of Indians Coronavirus outbreak LIVE Updates: Death toll touches 170 in China; GoI plans evacuation of Indians

Coronavirus outbreak HIGHLIGHTS: Pakistan government has decided not to evacuate its citizens from the coronavirus-hit Wuhan city to show “solidarity” with its ally, the special assistant to PM Imran Khan on Health, Dr Zafar Mirza told foreign news website Dawn. “We believe that right now, it is in the interest of our loved ones in China [to stay there]. It is in the larger interest of the region, world, country that we don’t evacuate them now,” he was quoted as saying at a press conference in Islamabad.

Meanwhile, at least 6000 people aboard a cruise in Italy were trapped after the ship was placed on lockdown over the virus scare as two suspected cases came up.

In India, after a Wuhan-return student tested positive for Coronavirus infection in Kerala on Thursday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state was closely monitoring the situation, assuring it was “no cause for panic”. “The Minister for Health KK Shyalaja teacher has briefed me about the situation. We are closely monitoring the situation. While we need to be cautious, it is no cause for panic. Our health network is capable of handling any emergencies,” Vijayan wrote on Twitter. He added that a series of measures had been initiated to tackle the emergency and urged people to not spread rumours on social media.

Adding to the worry about the danger of fast-spreading Coronavirus that has claimed 170 lives in China, three Japanese people evacuated from China have been found to be infected with the flu. Two of them had not even shown symptoms, reported Reuters. The Chinese government on Thursday has confirmed 1,700 new infections, taking the number to 7,736.

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Live Blog

Coronavirus outbreak live updates: First case of Coronavirus in India reported from Kerala, CM Pinarayi Vijayan assures 'no cause for panic'. Meanwhile, Russia to shut border with China to ensure precaution. Follow latest news and updates below:

02:14 (IST)31 Jan 2020
WHO declares coronavirus outbreak ‘global emergency’

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak sparked by a new virus in China that has been exported to more than a dozen countries as a global emergency Thursday after the number of cases spiked tenfold in a week.

The UN health agency defines an international emergency as an “extraordinary event” that constitutes a risk to other countries and requires a coordinated international response. Click here to know more.

22:13 (IST)30 Jan 2020
Pakistan says evacuation of citizens from China 'against national interest'

Pakistan has said it will not repatriate citizens stranded in China as it's against national interest. "We believe that right now, it is in the interest of our loved ones in China [to stay there]. It is in the larger interest of the region, world, country that we don't evacuate them now," Dawn quoted Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza as saying. 

"This is what the World Health Organisation is saying, this is China's policy and this is our policy as well. We stand by China in full solidarity," he declared.

22:04 (IST)30 Jan 2020
China coronavirus death toll rises to 170; confirmed cases soar to 7,736

The deadly coronavirus has hit all provinces in China, including the remote region of Tibet, mostly due to travellers from Wuhan city, the ground zero of the epidemic, as the virus claimed 170 lives, infected 7,736 others and spread to 20 countries, including India. Chinese health officials on Thursday announced 38 more fatalities mainly from the worst-affected central Hubei province, taking the death toll to 170. Chinese health officials on Thursday announced 38 more fatalities mainly from the worst-affected central Hubei province, taking the death toll to 170. Tibet, which till now remained the only Chinese province untouched by the virus, reported its first case on Thursday, with a resident from Wuhan who travelled to the Himalayan region reporting sick.

20:11 (IST)30 Jan 2020
Thousands blocked aboard an Italian cruise ship over Coronavirus scare

Some 6,000 people are being kept on board an Italian cruise ship as tests are carried out on a passenger from Macau to see if she has coronavirus, a spokesman for the Costa Crociere cruise company said on Thursday. Some 6,000 people are being kept on board an Italian cruise ship as tests are carried out on a passenger from Macau to see if she has coronavirus, a spokesman for the Costa Crociere cruise company said on Thursday. She subsequently came down with a fever and flu-like symptoms, and both herself and her partner have been placed in an isolation unit about the ship, Costa Crociere said in a statement.

19:40 (IST)30 Jan 2020
Six labs to start functioning today, six more to come up on Jan 31 to test for Coronavirus

After reviewing the preparedness of various ministries in the light of the Coronavirus outbreak, the Cabinet Secretary told ANI that it had been decided that all those who have come from China after January 15, 2020, shall be tested as there is an incubation period for the virus. The Cabinet Secretary stressed the need for 14 days’ home isolation for all those who have returned from China. "Six more labs will start functioning from today: (1) NIV Bengaluru Unit, (2) Victoria Hospital Campus, KR Road, Fort, Bengaluru (3), AIIMS, New Delhi (4), NCDC, Delhi (5) Kasturba Hospital for infectious diseases, Mumbai (8) NIV – Kerala Unit. Six more labs will start function by 31st January 2020: (1) ICMR – NICED, Kolkata (2) GMC, Secunderabad (3) KGMU, Lucknow (4) SMS, Jaipur (5) IGGMC, Nagpur (6) KIPMR, Chennai," the secretary added.

19:16 (IST)30 Jan 2020
India reaches out to over 600 Indians in coronavirus-hit Hubei province

At the centre of Coronavirus outbreak, the government today has said that it reached out to over 600 Indians living in China's Hubei province to ascertain their willingness to be brought back to India. "We have established contact with over 600 Indians across the province and are individually ascertaining their willingness to be repatriated. Our Mission in Beijing is working round-the-clock on the ground to work out the necessary logistics," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a media briefing.

18:52 (IST)30 Jan 2020
78 people who arrived from coronavirus-hit China are under 'house quarantine' and being monitored: TN govt

The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday said 78 people who had arrived from coronavirus-hit China were under "house quarantine" and being monitored but asserted no positive case of the deadly virus has been detected in the state so far. State Health and Family Welfare Minister C Vijayabaskar also said there was no need for any panic as preventive measures had been put in place and the government was paying more attention after one person tested positive for the virus in neighbouring Kerala.

18:24 (IST)30 Jan 2020
Doctors' body warns of possible spread of coronavirus to Kashmir Valley

A doctors' body on Thursday warned that there was a potential threat of novel coronavirus spreading to Kashmir as tourists from around the world visit the valley. President of the Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK) Suhail Naik said China is located near India and there were chances of coronavirus reaching the valley as it is a tourist destination. "Following the recent outbreak of coronavirus in China, there is a potential threat of the novel virus in Kashmir as people from different parts of the world come here as tourists," he said in a statement. (PTI)

17:51 (IST)30 Jan 2020
British Airways suspends flights to mainland China for a month

British Airways said on Thursday that all its flights to mainland China had been cancelled for a month, in a further sign of the impact that the outbreak of a new coronavirus is having on global travel. A spokeswoman said all flights to Beijing and Shanghai had been suspended until the end of February.BA's suspension of flights began on Wednesday, but initially it had only been in place until Friday while the airline assessed the situation. (Reuters)

16:55 (IST)30 Jan 2020
No confirmation about any Indian in China being affected by Coronavirus: MEA

"We have established contacts with over 600 Indians living in coronavirus-hit Hubei province in China. We have asked Indians living there whether they want to return to India. We do not have any confirmation about any Indian being affected by Coronavirus," MEA said in a statement during the weekly briefing today.

16:38 (IST)30 Jan 2020
Kerala Health Minister KK Shylaja to meet Thrissur Medical college doctors, district health officials

The patient who tested positive will soon be shifted to the isolation ward set up at the Medical College in Thrissur. Health Minister KK Shylaja and her private secretary will leave for Thrissur soon and will be holding a meeting with the doctors at the Medical college and with district health officials. Meanwhile, results of four more samples are awaited from NiV, Pune.

16:03 (IST)30 Jan 2020
Russia to close its borders with China as precautionary measure

Russia has said on Thursday that it will be closing its border with China as a precautionary measure in the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told a government meeting that the order had been signed "to take measures to close the border (with China) in the Far East," Russian news agencies reported.

16:00 (IST)30 Jan 2020
'While we need to be cautious, it is no cause for panic': CM Vijayan

After the confirmation of a student who returned from Wuhan was tested positive in Kerala of the novel Coronavirus, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan underlined that there was 'no cause for panic' and assured that health networks in the state were capable of handling any emergency. He wrote on Twitter assuring that the state was closely monitoring the patient's situation.

13:49 (IST)30 Jan 2020
Coronavirus hits India, one confirmed case in Kerala

One student in Kerala, who just returned from Wuhan tested positive for Novel Coronavirus, on Thursday. The patient, who had been studying in Wuhan University, is now kept in isolation. She is stable and is being closely monitored, the government of India stated in a press release.

13:27 (IST)30 Jan 2020
Three men kept in isolation ward of Delhi’s RML hospital test negative

All the suspected Coronovirus patients kept in the isolation ward of the RML Hospital in New Delhi have tested negative, a Health ministry official said on Thursday. “Their samples were sent for testing to NIV Pune and they have tested negative,” news agency PTI quoted an official as saying.

13:03 (IST)30 Jan 2020
Three Japanese evacuees from Wuhan test positive for virus, 2 had no symptoms

Two of three Japanese people evacuated from China and found to be infected with a new coronavirus had not shown symptoms, the health ministry said on Thursday, adding to worry about the danger of the fast-spreading virus, reported Reuters. The three cases were among 206 Japanese people who were evacuated to Tokyo on Wednesday from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic that has killed 170 people in China and infected nearly 8,000. While the vast majority of cases have been in China, more than 100 cases have also appeared in about 15 other countries, with Japan's three new cases taking its tally to 11.

12:16 (IST)30 Jan 2020
10-year-old boy raises fears Wuhan Coronavirus could spread undetected

The case of a 10-year-old boy who was diagnosed with the Wuhan coronavirus even though he showed no symptoms is raising concern that people may be spreading the virus undetected by the front-line screening methods implemented to contain the epidemic. The boy was part of a family who visited relatives in the central Chinese city over the New Year. Read more...

11:19 (IST)30 Jan 2020
Asian markets in red amid concerns over impact of China's coronavirus on global economy

Sensex has fallen over 250 points to 40,936.97 in morning trade. Asian markets were in the red Thursday amid concerns over the impact of China's coronavirus on the global economy, reported news agency PTI. While China's markets remained closed today, bourses in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea were trading with sharp losses.  

10:59 (IST)30 Jan 2020
Championships postponed as Coronavirus spreads across China

In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak in China, Chinese Football Association said it would postpone domestic games in 2020. The World Athletics Indoor Championships scheduled in the Chinese city of Nanjing in March have been postponed until 2021, reported Reuters.

10:50 (IST)30 Jan 2020
Hong Kong shares extend losses as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong shares fell for a second straight session on Thursday, amid weakness in healthcare and consumer stocks, as the new coronavirus spread rapidly and pushed up the total number of confirmed cases in the financial city to 10, reported Reuters.
 The Hang Seng index fell 1.7% to 26,693.06 by midday, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.8% to 10,428.74 points. Hong Kong's de facto central bank said it will continue to monitor any possible impact from the spread the virus. In other markets, Asian stocks slipped while gold and bonds were in demand as worries about the spread of the virus sent investors scurrying for safety. In Hong Kong, an index tracking consumer goods and services companies dropped 2.6%.

AYUSH ministry recommends homeopathy, ayurveda to prevent coronavirus; draws flak on Twitter Chinese family wearing face masks walk in a pedestrian crossing in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Coronavirus outbreak live updates:

The Indian government has announced plans to operate two flights to evacuate Indian citizens from Hubei and isolate them for 28 days, instead of the customary 14-day incubation period, in New Delhi. Health Ministry officials said only those without symptoms of the flu will be airlifted out of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, to minimise the chances of the infection spreading to people who have not been exposed to the virus, such as those facilitating the evacuation.

Meanwhile, India’s largest airline IndiGo decided to suspend its Bengaluru-Hong Kong flight from February 1 and the Delhi-Chengdu flight from February 1 to 20. Air India, as well, announced it would suspend its Delhi-Shanghai flight from January 31 to February 14, and reduce the number of its Delhi-Hong Kong flights to three per day.

Around 500 Indians are currently in Hubei province amid an effective lockdown owing to the rapid spread of the virus. In India, 39 people across eight states have so far been isolated, of whom 27 have already tested negative while tests are underway on others. The Health Ministry has revised its advisory, asking Indians to “refrain” from travelling to China.

In Maharashtra, six persons with the suspected infection have been admitted in Mumbai so far, while three persons have been admitted in Pune and one in Nanded. Of these, at least six cases were found negative for the virus in the preliminary test, while reports in the remaining cases are expected by Thursday.

Hong Kong-based Professor Malik Peiris, who played a critical role in identifying SARS in 2003, said the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) appears to spread more easily than the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS, but is less severe in terms of the number of deaths. However, the new strain of coronavirus is “more severe” than the 2009 Influenza A (H1N1), he added.

The AYUSH ministry on Wednesday issued a statement and recommended that homeopathic medicine Arsenicum album 30 could be taken as a “prophylactic [preventive] medicine against possible coronavirus infections”. The ministry has also issued a list of Ayurvedic concoctions for prevention of the virus.

Read more on coronavirus outbreak:

Why China has emerged as the epicentre of global outbreaks of disease

Serbian man in Goa, mother-son duo in Ujjain quarantined

Coronavirus Origin, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Precautions and other details

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