Source: Beijing, London, Dubai – Reuters, France Press
In the latest development, China Thursday imposed a second quarantine on a second city near Wuhan (center) due to the Coruna virus.
The Huangang City Municipality announced that the movement of the trains will stop in the city of 7.5 million people, located 70 kilometers east of Wuhan, until further notice at the end of the day.
AndBeijing confirmed the death of 17 people 571 were infected by the virus as of Wednesday evening.
The virus shuts down an entire city
China has closed Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, and is considered the epicenter of the new Corona virus.
Wuhan is a transportation hub as well as a major industrial and commercial center in China. The virus has also been detected in other cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
The previously unknown virus is believed to have appeared late last year as a result of an illegal trade in wild animals at an animal market in Wuhan, China.
Cases have been detected as far away as the United States, adding to fears that the virus is already spreading worldwide.
There are 8 known cases worldwide, of which 4 were confirmed by Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States.
At least 16 people are under observation after having been in close contact with a man who contracted the virus in Washington.
Chinese official media said that the local government of Wuhan announced that it would shut down urban transportation networks and suspend takeoff flights
From the city as of 10:00 am (0200 GMT) Thursday, but local media said that some airlines are still operating after this date.
Official media carried photos of the Hankou Railway Station, one of the major transportation centers in Wuhan, that were almost deserted, with barriers on its gates. The government urged citizens not to leave the city except in emergency circumstances.
One resident reported that guards were deployed on highways, although the closing notice did not refer to private cars. Videos on social media showed long lines in front of petrol stations.
Many Chinese canceled their trips, bought protective masks, avoided public places such as cinemas and malls, and even resorted to a computer game that simulated the virus.
Contrary to the secrecy surrounding the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002 and 2003 that killed about 800 people, this time the Chinese Communist government regularly updates information in an attempt to prevent panic spreading before the holiday season.
The Imperial College London said in a report on Wednesday that it estimated 4,000 cases of the new coronavirus in Wuhan alone by January 18.
Sun Chunlan, vice prime minister, was quoted by the official Xinhua news agency as saying during a visit to Wuhan that the authorities should be transparent about the spread and efforts to contain it, a statement that would reassure world health experts.
For its part, the World Health Organization announced that it will decide, on Thursday, whether to declare a global health emergency due to the virus, a measure that would strengthen the international response. If it does, this will be the sixth time that a public health emergency has been declared worldwide in the past ten years.
Some experts believe that the new virus is not as dangerous as previous coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which have killed more than 700 patients since 2012.
“Early indications at this point indicate that he is not as dangerous as Sars and Mears,” Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer, told reporters on Thursday.
The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tidros Adanum Gebraeus, told reporters in Geneva that the measures taken so far by China were “very strong” but called on them to “take greater measures to curb international proliferation.”
“We assured them that taking strong action will not only allow them to control the spread of the virus in their country, but also reduce the chances of it spreading internationally,” he added.
British minister: Corona virus is a concern
On Thursday, British Business Secretary, Andrea Ledsom, confirmed that the spread of the new Corona virus in China is a source of great concern to the world.
“We are now checking all flights from Wuhan on a regular basis. This is clearly a major concern for the world, especially for this Chinese city that is now closed, and we will definitely be guided by all the advice that comes from the global health agencies as well as the evidence,” she added. Coming from China itself. ”
Thermal examination at Dubai airport
In Dubai, the operator of the Dubai airport, on Thursday, said that the emirate will examine all passengers arriving on direct flights from China with the spread of the Corona virus there.
Dubai Airports Corporation said that passengers coming to Dubai International Airport, the third busiest airport in the world, will be subjected to a thermal examination.
Sources at Cairo International Airport also said, on Thursday, that the airport has begun examining passengers from China for symptoms of the new Corona virus.
Taiwanese airline said it had suspended flights to Wuhan, and Hong Kong Airlines, MTR Corp, has suspended the sale of express train tickets to and from Wuhan.
And the Singapore airline “Scott” revealed, on Thursday, that it had canceled its daily flight to Wuhan.
Airports worldwide have enhanced the screening of passengers from China. The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that, in an assessment of the risks, the virus could spread further to the world.
Australia and Britain were among the countries that advised their citizens not to travel to Wuhan unless absolutely necessary.