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Coronavirus outbreak: UK calls virus ‘serious’ health threat; will detain people

Coronavirus outbreak: The death toll due to coronavirus climbed to 908 in China. The total number of cases so far is 40,171 and the infection has spread to at least 27 countries.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: February 10, 2020 10:42:49 pm
coronavirus, coronavirus death toll, coronavirus in india, coronavirus latest update, coronavirus latest news, coronavirus in china, coronavirus india, coronavirus news, coronavirus china, coronavirus disease, coronavirus symptoms, coronavirus treatment, coronavirus infection, coronavirus outbreak, coronavirus in india, coronavirus news, coronavirus causes A paradegoer holds a sign of support for China, at the center of the coronavirus outbreak, as participants in the Lunar New Year parade pass by in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Coronavirus outbreak: A 20-year-old medical student from Kerala, the first case of Novel Coronavirus in India, is recovering from the virus. The second swab sample has come back negative. However, the third sample has to be negative for her to be discharged.

A team of experts led by the World Health Organization (WHO) left for Beijing to help investigate China’s coronavirus epidemic as the death toll climbed to 908 in the mainland, surpassing the number of fatalities of the SARS epidemic of 2002-03. The total number of cases so far is 40,171 and the infection has spread to at least 27 countries. One death each outside China has been reported from Hong Kong and the Philippines

The government today eased some restrictions and workers began trickling back to offices and factories around China. On one of the usually busiest subway lines in Beijing, trains were largely empty. The few commuters sighted during peak-hour morning traffic were all wearing masks. Schools in many parts of China will be closed till February end.

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday offered assistance to China to deal with the outbreak. In a letter addressed to Chinese President Xi Jinping, PM Modi expressed solidarity with the premier and also conveyed his condolences at the unfortunate loss of lives due to the outbreak. (Click here to follow our coverage of coronavirus outbreak)

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The death toll due to coronavirus in China shot up to 908, surpassing the lifetime fatalities of the SARS virus of 2002-03.


    19:20 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    UK calls virus 'serious' health threat; will detain people

    Britain has declared the new coronavirus that emerged from China a ``serious and imminent threat to public health'' and announced new measures Monday to combat the spread of the disease. The U.K. Department of Health and Social Care said people with the virus can now be forcibly quarantined and will not be free to leave. It named two British specialist hospitals in London as isolation facilities for those affected: Guy's and St. Thomas' and The Royal Free. It also designated the Chinese city of Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province where the virus first emerged as a ``infected area.'' (AP)

    18:43 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    Russia quarantines top Chinese consul as coronavirus precaution

    Russian authorities have quarantined a top Chinese diplomat as a safety precaution against coronavirus shortly after he arrived in Russia to take up his new post, the Interfax news agency reported on Monday. Consul General Cui Shaochun arrived in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg on Thursday to start his new job, but instead of having scheduled meetings he was told to stay at home for two weeks, Russian foreign ministry official Alexander Kharlov was quoted as saying. (Reuters) 

    17:49 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    First Indian coronavirus patient recovering in Kerala

    A 20-year-old medical student from Kerala, the first case of Novel Coronavirus in India, is recovering from the virus. The second swab sample has come back negative. However, the third sample has to be negative for her to be discharged.

    17:27 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    EU calls emergency talks on new coronavirus

    The European Union will host a meeting of health ministers on Thursday, along with a WHO envoy, to discuss the novel coronavirus outbreak, AFP reported. The death toll has climbed to 908 in China, surpassing the number of fatalities of the SARS epidemic of 2002-03. The total number of cases so far is 40,171 and the infection has spread to at least 27 countries.

    17:26 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    Indians among passengers, crew on board Japan cruise ship as new cases of coronavirus emerge

    An unspecified number of Indians were among the nearly 3,000 passengers and crew members on board a cruise ship quarantined off Japan due to diagnosis of coronavirus cases, the Indian Embassy here said on Monday. Around 60 people tested positive of the virus on Monday, taking the total number of those infected on the ship to 130. Authorities had initially tested nearly 300 people when the ship arrived at the Japanese coast.

    14:03 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    Airbnb suspends bookings in Beijing for rest of February

    Airbnb said on Monday it has suspended bookings in Beijing until Feb. 29 as death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in China exceeded 900. "In light of the novel coronavirus outbreak and guidance from local authorities for the short-term rental industry during this public health emergency, bookings of all listings in Beijing with check-in from 7 February 2020 to 29 February 2020 have been suspended," the short-term home rental company said in an email statement. The decision was only for Beijing, a spokesperson for Airbnb China said, adding that the company evaluates the situation and works to comply with guidance from local authorities.

    13:57 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    Coronavirus has infected more than 40,600 people globally

    A viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 40,600 people globally, AP reported. The latest figures were reported by global health authorities as of Monday in Beijing which includes 908 deaths among 40,171 confirmed cases on the mainland. In addition, Hong Kong has had 36 cases, including one death. Macao has had 10 cases. Most of the illnesses and deaths have been in central Hubei province, where illnesses from the new type of coronavirus were first detected in December.

    13:44 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    UK declares coronavirus a serious and imminent threat to public health

    Britain said on Monday that the new coronavirus was a serious and imminent threat to public health, a step that gives the government additional powers to fight the spread of the virus. "The Secretary of State declares that the incidence or transmission of novel coronavirus constitutes a serious and imminent threat to public health," the health ministry said. "Measures outlined in these regulations are considered as an effective means of delaying or preventing further transmission of the virus," the ministry said.

    13:43 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    China says 27 foreigners in the country have been infected with coronavirus, 2 dead

    China's Foreign Ministry said that 27 foreigners in the country have been confirmed infected with the new coronavirus as of Monday morning, and two had died. An American died on Feb. 6 and a Japanese died on Feb. 8, ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing in Beijing. Three of the cases have been discharged, he added.

    12:10 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    Sixty more people confirmed with coronavirus on cruise ship in Japan

    Another 60 people have been tested positive for coronavirus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, taking the total number of cases on the cruise to 130. The Diamond Princess was placed on a two-week quarantine on arriving at Yokohama on Feb. 3 after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus.

    12:03 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    Tycoon Li Ka-shing gives $13 mln to Wuhan amid coronavirus outbreak

    The Li Ka-Shing Foundation, a charitable organisation founded by the Hong Kong billionaire, has donated HK$100 million ($12.9 million) to the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the new coronavirus that has killed more than 900 people.

    11:52 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    Kazakhstan to send two planes to China to evacuate its citizens

    Kazakhstan will send two planes to China on Feb. 10 and Feb. 12 to evacuate its citizens amid a coronavirus outbreak, the Central Asian nation's foreign ministry said on Monday. Out of 719 Kazakhs remaining in China, 391 have asked to be repatriated, it said in a statement. The flights will also take 47 Chinese citizens to Beijing.

    10:49 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    Japan cruise reported to have 60 more infections, 70 already confirmed cases

    A cruise ship in Japan was reported to have about 60 more coronavirus infections, adding to the 70 already confirmed, according to a report in Bloomberg. The Princess Diamond cruise ship in quarantine in Yokohama, Japan, has an additional 60 people with confirmed novel coronavirus infections, bringing the total to 130, the report added quoting unidentified sources from TBS

    10:41 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    WHO warns overseas coronavirus spread may be 'tip of the iceberg'

    The head of the World Health Organization said on Monday there have been "concerning instances" of coronavirus among people with no travel history to China, warning that it could be the "tip of the iceberg", as he urged all countries to prepare for the possible arrival of the novel virus that has killed over 900 people. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the spread of coronavirus outside China appeared to be slowing, but could accelerate, warning that any breach in solidarity is a victory for the virus.

    09:46 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    Could pangolins be the source of novel coronavirus?

    Scientists have found that the genome sequence of the coronavirus isolated from pangolins was 99 per cent identical with that separated from infected humans. Pangolins are considered to be one of the most trafficked animals in the world and are classified as a critically endangered species. Thousands of pangolins are poached every year due to their “medicinal value” and the consumption of their meat in countries such as China and Vietnam. Can pangolins be the source of the coronavirus? Find out here

    08:51 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    NYC Lunar New Year parade showcases support for China, Wuhan

    Signs of support for the Chinese city at the center of a global virus outbreak marked floats at the Lunar New Year parade in Manhattan's Chinatown on Sunday as brightly colored puppets made their way through the streets in front of crowds of onlookers. A banner on one float read ``Support Wuhan! Let's fight the virus together!`` Another urged, ``Wuhan stay strong.`` Some of the paradegoers who filled the streets held signs expressing support for China, as well.

    08:13 (IST)10 Feb 2020
    Oil prices fall on oversupply worries as coronavirus hits China demand

    Oil prices on Monday extended their decline from an early January peak above $70 as the spectre of excess supplies loomed over the market after the spreading coronavirus outbreak hit demand in China, the world's largest oil importer. Brent crude hit a low of $53.63 a barrel and was at $54.09 by 0100 GMT, down 38 cents. U.S. West Texas Intermediate fell 38 cents to $49.94 a barrel after striking a low of $49.56. Worries over supply were not alleviated on Friday when Russia said it need more time to decide on a recommendation from a technical committee that has advised the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to cut production by a further 600,000 barrels per day.

    22:24 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    ‘I’m not reckless’: China courier braves coronavirus to keep city supplied

    Guo Qiang, a deliveryman, knows his family is worried that he’s returned to work during the coronavirus epidemic. The 29-year-old went back to his hometown in central China’s Henan province for the Lunar New Year, a once-a-year chance that many in China have to visit their families. When news broke about the fast-spreading coronavirus, he volunteered to return to Beijing. Click here to know more.

    22:22 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    Coronavirus wrap: Death toll rises to 813 as new cases fall in China

    The death toll due to the novel coronavirus outbreak rose to 813 in China, surpassing the number killed globally by the 2002-03 SARS epidemic. However, on a positive note, Chinese officials said the number of cases had started declining for the first time after weeks of sharp rise. Nearly 774 people were killed globally by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic that started in southern China.(Reuters)

    20:24 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    Coronavirus scare: Six students under home quarantine in Mizoram

    The Mizoram government has placed six students under home quarantine as a part of precautionary measures after they recently returned from China, officials said on Sunday. Blood samples of two of them have been sent to the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) in Kolkata for test, state nodal officer of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme Dr Pachuau Lalmalsawma, told PTI.

    20:17 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    Coronavirus hits trade fairs, conferences

    Over two dozen large trade fairs and industry conferences in China and overseas have been postponed or hit by travel curbs and concerns about the spread of a coronavirus, potentially disrupting billions of dollars worth of deals, reported Reuters.

    20:13 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    China's Shenzhen says Foxconn to resume operations after inspections

    The local government of the city of Shenzhen in southeastern China said on Sunday it had not blocked plans by Apple supplier Foxconn to resume production, adding that the company would restart once inspections were completed, news agency Reuters reported. The Nikkei Business Daily reported on Saturday that China had blocked the company's plans to resume production amid concerns about the coronavirus.

    20:12 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    China offers $43bn boost to firms fighting coronavirus

    China's central bank on Sunday said it will offer a 300 billion yuan (USD 43 billion) boost to help firms that are putting in efforts to fight the deadly coronavirus which has so far claimed more than 800 lives in the country, news agency AFP reported. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) said it will dispatch the first tranch of special re-lending funds on Monday to support financial institutions to offer loans to enterprises involved in prevention and control of the epidemic.

    19:29 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    Watch: Officials in China put households under lockdown

    Officials in China put households under lockdown

    18:44 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    What you need to know about the spreading coronavirus

    A newly identified virus that emerged late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, causing an explosive outbreak of sometimes fatal pneumonia, has become a global health emergency. The culprit is a so-called coronavirus dubbed 2019-nCoV. It belongs to a family of viruses responsible for diseases that range in severity from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which killed almost 800 people in a 2002-2003 outbreak. Click here to read more. 

    18:42 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    Spain confirmed its second case of the new virus from China

    Spain confirmed its second case of the new virus from China on Sunday. The coronavirus case was detected in Mallorca, a popular vacation island in the Mediterranean Sea, Spain's National Microbiology Center said. A British man who lives on the island contracted the virus at the end of January at a French ski resort where he came into contact with an infected person, according to Fernando Simon, head of Spain's Coordination Center for Health Alerts and Emergencies. (Reuters)

    18:17 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    Fourth case of coronavirus found in Britain

    A fourth case of the new coronavirus has been diagnosed in Britain after a patient contracted the illness from a previously confirmed British case while in France, news agency Reuters reported. "A further patient has tested positive for novel coronavirus in England, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to four," Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, said in a statement.

    18:16 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    Could pangolins be the source of novel coronavirus?

    On Friday (February 7), scientists investigating the animal origins of the novel coronavirus said pangolins could be responsible for the spread of the virus to humans in China. The scientists, whose findings are yet to be published, have found that the genome sequence of the coronavirus isolated from pangolins was 99 per cent identical with that separated from infected humans. Click here to read more.

    17:54 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    PM Modi writes to Xi Jinping, offers help to combat outbreak 

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday offered India’s assistance to China to deal with the outbreak of novel Coronavirus that has claimed over 800 lives so far. In a letter addressed to Chinese President Xi Jinping, PM Modi expressed solidarity with the premier and also conveyed his condolences at the unfortunate loss of lives due to the outbreak. PM Modi also thanked Xi Jinping for facilitating the evacuation of 647 Indian citizens from Hubei province earlier this month. Click here to read more.

    17:34 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    Five suspected cases of coronavirus reported in Pakistan

    Five persons with symptoms of coronavirus were rushed to hospital after they arrived in Pakistan from a flight from China, news agency PTI reported citing media reports.

    The suspected patients were on the Air China flight carrying 177 passengers, which landed in Islamabad on Friday, The Express Tribune reported quoting airport officials. The five passengers were segregated as their body temperatures registered above normal during thermal scanning at the airport, the paper said.

    17:30 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    Coronavirus cases in Wuhan may be nearing peak, study finds

    The new coronavirus may have infected at least 1 in 20 people in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the global outbreak, by the time it peaks in the coming weeks, according to scientists modeling its spread. The typically bustling megacity, where the so-called 2019-nCoV virus emerged late last year, has been in lockdown since Jan. 23, restricting the movement of 11 million people. Click here to read more.

    17:29 (IST)09 Feb 2020


    17:28 (IST)09 Feb 2020


    15:21 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    From the NYT: Where’s Xi? China’s Leader commands coronavirus fight from safe heights

    The coronavirus epidemic, which has killed more than 800 people in China and sickened tens of thousands, comes as Xi has struggled with a host of other challenges: a slowing economy, huge protests in Hong Kong, an election in Taiwan that rebuffed Beijing and a protracted trade war with the United States. Click here to know more. 


    14:59 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    Indian govt removes surgical masks, gloves from export ban list

    Indian government Sunday removed surgical masks and gloves from the list of banned export items, a notification said.

    Last month, the government put a ban on exports of all kinds of personal protection equipment, including clothing and masks used to protect people from airborne particles amidst the outbreak of deadly novel coronavirus in China.

    14:21 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    Coronavirus: Two new cases detected in UAE; infection cases rise to 7

    Two new cases of coronavirus infection have been detected in the UAE, bringing the total number of people diagnosed with the deadly disease to seven, the country's health ministry has said.

    The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) said on Saturday that "two new cases of coronavirus" were detected in the country through a routine check-up system set according to standards set by the World Health Organization.

    The ministry said in a statement that the two new patients, a Chinese national and a Filipino, were receiving medical care as per the highest health standards available in the country. (PTI)

    14:06 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    China's Hebei says schools shut until March to stop virus

    The northern Chinese province of Hebei will keep its schools shut until at least March 1 to control the coronavirus outbreak, the Communist Party-run People's Daily newspaper said on Sunday, citing the local education bureau.

    Hebei, which surrounds the capital Beijing, is one of a number of provinces and municipalities to extend the school shutdown until the end of the month, with others including Shandong, Jiangsu and Shanghai. (Reuters)

    13:48 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    Final British evacuation flight from Wuhan lands

    Britain's final evacuation flight from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of a coronavirus outbreak, landed at a Royal Air Force base in central England on Sunday.

    The British government said on Saturday the plane had more than 200 people on board, including non-British nationals. The passengers also included staff who facilitated the flight as well as medics. They will be quarantined for 14 days. (Reuters)

    13:21 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    China health body warns against excessive use of protective suits

    China's National Health Commission called for the "reasonable use" of protective suits in a statement on Sunday and cautioned against "excessive and disorderly" use of the clothing that would waste resources and could also increase infection.

    The statement was issued as China faces a severe shortage of equipment, including suits, masks and goggles, to protect medical workers from infection amid a newly identified coronavirus that has killed more than 800 people. (Reuters)

    13:16 (IST)09 Feb 2020
    At key testing centre in Pune, 604 samples checked so far

    Between January 24 and February 7, 604 samples have been tested at Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV) in Pune that is at the centre of the country’s efforts to deal with the nCoV outbreak. So far, three of these samples have tested positive. Across the country, over 1,300 samples have been tested at 14 other virus research diagnostic laboratories (VRDLs), including those at the apex ICMR-NIV lab.

    “Around mid-December, we started following reported cases of mysterious pneumonia in China. Even before nCoV hit the headlines, we had formed an outbreak response group of ICMR-NIV doctors trained in community health (epidemiologists).

    The samples arrive at the centre in a three-layered packing in a virus transport medium from across the country, and are handled carefully in the biosafety cabinet by technologists in protective gear. The samples are then separated into small portions and carefully labelled. They are then sent to another unit where nucleic acid extraction followed by the real-time polymerase chain reaction tests are conducted to detect whether the sample is positive or negative for nCoV. Every sample is checked for, besides nCoV, 18 other respiratory viruses, a process which takes about four hours. Read more

    Yokohama: Medical workers in protective suits lead a passenger tested positive for a new coronavirus from the cruise ship Diamond Princess at Yokohama Port in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP)

    On Saturday, Hubei reported 2,147 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection, the commission said. The figure is 694 less compared with the new confirmed cases reported in the previous day, it said.

    Hubei's capital Wuhan reported 1,379 new infections and 63 new deaths, and the cities of Xiaogan and Huanggang reported 123 and 100 new confirmed cases, respectively, according to the provincial health commission.

    Hubei alone reported 27,100 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection, with 780 deaths and 5,247 cases in severe or critical condition. Also, 1,439 patients have been discharged after recovery from the hospital, it said.

    Across China, 6,188 patients remained in severe condition and 28,942 people were suspected of being infected with the virus, it said.

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