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Another 41 people test positive for coronavirus on quarantined cruise ship in Japan, health minister says Another 41 people test positive for coronavirus on quarantined cruise ship in Japan, health minister says
(30 minutes later)
Another 41 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus on board the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess in Japan, bringing the total number of cases on the vessel to 61.Another 41 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus on board the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess in Japan, bringing the total number of cases on the vessel to 61.
Coronavirus infections in mainland China also rose sharply again on Thursday to reach more than 31,000 confirmed cases, more than 4,800 of which were critical, authorities said Friday morning.Coronavirus infections in mainland China also rose sharply again on Thursday to reach more than 31,000 confirmed cases, more than 4,800 of which were critical, authorities said Friday morning.
China has reported more than 630 coronavirus deaths, including one in Hong Kong, and one person has died in the Philippines.China has reported more than 630 coronavirus deaths, including one in Hong Kong, and one person has died in the Philippines.
Foreigners on Thursday continued to be evacuated from China’s Hubei province, where the outbreak began, with many travelers entering quarantines when they arrived in their home countries. China, meanwhile, imposed penalties on tech platforms that published what it called “illicit” content about the outbreak that could cause citizens to panic.Foreigners on Thursday continued to be evacuated from China’s Hubei province, where the outbreak began, with many travelers entering quarantines when they arrived in their home countries. China, meanwhile, imposed penalties on tech platforms that published what it called “illicit” content about the outbreak that could cause citizens to panic.
Here’s what else we know:Here’s what else we know:
● Chinese doctor Li Wenliang, who became a symbol of the Chinese government's failings after sounding warnings about the disease in December, died Thursday after contracting the virus in Wuhan.● Chinese doctor Li Wenliang, who became a symbol of the Chinese government's failings after sounding warnings about the disease in December, died Thursday after contracting the virus in Wuhan.
● The Defense Department approved 11 military installations to potentially house quarantined U.S. travelers if the Department of Health and Human Services does not have enough space.● The Defense Department approved 11 military installations to potentially house quarantined U.S. travelers if the Department of Health and Human Services does not have enough space.
● Two U.S. planes with about 300 passengers departed Wuhan on Thursday night. The flights were expected to be the last ones chartered by the U.S. government to evacuate Americans and their families from the center of the outbreak.● Two U.S. planes with about 300 passengers departed Wuhan on Thursday night. The flights were expected to be the last ones chartered by the U.S. government to evacuate Americans and their families from the center of the outbreak.
● Experts in Hong Kong have declared a community outbreak in the city, with the coronavirus spreading on its own without people coming from the mainland.● Experts in Hong Kong have declared a community outbreak in the city, with the coronavirus spreading on its own without people coming from the mainland.
● The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that opposes anti-Semitism and other forms of hate, said that extremists were weaponizing the coronavirus outbreak to spread conspiracy theories.● The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that opposes anti-Semitism and other forms of hate, said that extremists were weaponizing the coronavirus outbreak to spread conspiracy theories.
9:00 PM: Passengers evacuated on 2 U.S. planes from Wuhan, monitored from 7,500 miles away9:00 PM: Passengers evacuated on 2 U.S. planes from Wuhan, monitored from 7,500 miles away
WASHINGTON — Two U.S. planes carrying about 300 passengers flew out of Wuhan on Thursday night and were expected to arrive in the United States on Friday morning.WASHINGTON — Two U.S. planes carrying about 300 passengers flew out of Wuhan on Thursday night and were expected to arrive in the United States on Friday morning.
Most of the passengers were Americans, but among the evacuees were 60 Canadians who were given seats on the U.S. charter flights at the request of the Canadian foreign minister. These are expected to be the last flights chartered by the U.S. government to get Americans and their families out of the epicenter of the coronavirus oubreak.Most of the passengers were Americans, but among the evacuees were 60 Canadians who were given seats on the U.S. charter flights at the request of the Canadian foreign minister. These are expected to be the last flights chartered by the U.S. government to get Americans and their families out of the epicenter of the coronavirus oubreak.
In the operations center of the State Department, where the flights were being monitored, cheers erupted around the glass-top conference table at 6:40 p.m. Washington time when the day’s first flight took off and a woman monitoring its progress shouted out, “Wheels up!”In the operations center of the State Department, where the flights were being monitored, cheers erupted around the glass-top conference table at 6:40 p.m. Washington time when the day’s first flight took off and a woman monitoring its progress shouted out, “Wheels up!”
The second flight took off at 7:18 p.m. in Washington, which is 13 hours behind Wuhan. State Department officials declined to specify which U.S. airports would receive the flights, but said the trips were expected to last about 12 hours.The second flight took off at 7:18 p.m. in Washington, which is 13 hours behind Wuhan. State Department officials declined to specify which U.S. airports would receive the flights, but said the trips were expected to last about 12 hours.
The evacuations have been organized and monitored by a task force that brought together staff from the State Department, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The evacuations have been organized and monitored by a task force that brought together staff from the State Department, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The task force includes specialists from the State Department’s China desk, Consular Affairs and Diplomatic Security. It also included medical workers from the State Department’s Operations Medicine staff, who specialize in crisis medicine such as a large-scale evacuation.The task force includes specialists from the State Department’s China desk, Consular Affairs and Diplomatic Security. It also included medical workers from the State Department’s Operations Medicine staff, who specialize in crisis medicine such as a large-scale evacuation.
About a dozen people gathered around the large conference table, each sitting before a computer screen and a phone that connected them with U.S. Embassy and consulate staff on the ground in China, flight trackers, and medical experts who were aboard the planes to conduct medical screenings in flight and isolate ailing passengers if necessary.About a dozen people gathered around the large conference table, each sitting before a computer screen and a phone that connected them with U.S. Embassy and consulate staff on the ground in China, flight trackers, and medical experts who were aboard the planes to conduct medical screenings in flight and isolate ailing passengers if necessary.
By: Carol MorelloBy: Carol Morello
TOKYO — Another 41 people have tested positive for coronavirus on board the quarantined cruise Diamond Princess, bringing to 61 the number of people on board the ship who have been diagnosed with the virus, Japan’s health minister said on Friday.TOKYO — Another 41 people have tested positive for coronavirus on board the quarantined cruise Diamond Princess, bringing to 61 the number of people on board the ship who have been diagnosed with the virus, Japan’s health minister said on Friday.
The latest test results came from the final 171 tests carried out on people on board the ship. A total of 273 people on board the ship were tested for the virus, out of 3,711 passengers and crew. The tests were carried out on people deemed at highest risk of having caught the virus, either because they showed symptoms or because they had mixed with a passenger from Hong Kong who is believed to have carried the virus onto the ship.The latest test results came from the final 171 tests carried out on people on board the ship. A total of 273 people on board the ship were tested for the virus, out of 3,711 passengers and crew. The tests were carried out on people deemed at highest risk of having caught the virus, either because they showed symptoms or because they had mixed with a passenger from Hong Kong who is believed to have carried the virus onto the ship.
Japan’s Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said Thursday that the quarantine would not “in principle” be extended, but he has not ruled out testing more people.Japan’s Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said Thursday that the quarantine would not “in principle” be extended, but he has not ruled out testing more people.
The people who tested positive will be taken to local hospitals, he said on Friday.The people who tested positive will be taken to local hospitals, he said on Friday.
Speaking about the people still on board, he said: “We will give the highest priority to ensuring their health, and in order to prevent the spread of infection, we will implement measures thoroughly.”Speaking about the people still on board, he said: “We will give the highest priority to ensuring their health, and in order to prevent the spread of infection, we will implement measures thoroughly.”
WASHINGTON — Twice a day, 195 American evacuees at the March Air Reserve base in Riverside, Calif., have their temperature checked by medical staff in protective gear. They are forbidden to stray from a small patch of land on a military base surrounded by armed soldiers. So they have found creative ways of filling the days.WASHINGTON — Twice a day, 195 American evacuees at the March Air Reserve base in Riverside, Calif., have their temperature checked by medical staff in protective gear. They are forbidden to stray from a small patch of land on a military base surrounded by armed soldiers. So they have found creative ways of filling the days.
“When people hear quarantine, they think of the zombie apocalypse, movies like ‘World War Z,’ ” said Matthew McCoy. “But the reality is it’s what you make of it.”“When people hear quarantine, they think of the zombie apocalypse, movies like ‘World War Z,’ ” said Matthew McCoy. “But the reality is it’s what you make of it.”
Amid the country’s first federal quarantine in more than 50 years, complete strangers have become confidants. Many have started offering classes on their areas of expertise: Boxing classes led by a boxing enthusiast. A seminar on preparing income taxes by an accountant. Zumba classes from a workout fiend. McCoy, who worked as a theme park designer in China, has experience drawing murals. So he’s planning a class for children on how to doodle with chalk using the barrack’s sidewalk as their canvas.Amid the country’s first federal quarantine in more than 50 years, complete strangers have become confidants. Many have started offering classes on their areas of expertise: Boxing classes led by a boxing enthusiast. A seminar on preparing income taxes by an accountant. Zumba classes from a workout fiend. McCoy, who worked as a theme park designer in China, has experience drawing murals. So he’s planning a class for children on how to doodle with chalk using the barrack’s sidewalk as their canvas.
Read more here.Read more here.
WASHINGTON — Chinese health officials said Friday morning that they had confirmed more than 31,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 16 on the self-governing island of Taiwan. More than 4,800 of the cases were considered severe.WASHINGTON — Chinese health officials said Friday morning that they had confirmed more than 31,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 16 on the self-governing island of Taiwan. More than 4,800 of the cases were considered severe.
The death toll rose to more than 630, up from about 560 the previous day. The deaths remain almost entirely confined to China, with the exception of a man who died in the Philippines. That man, 44, was a resident of Wuhan in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.The death toll rose to more than 630, up from about 560 the previous day. The deaths remain almost entirely confined to China, with the exception of a man who died in the Philippines. That man, 44, was a resident of Wuhan in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.
WASHINGTON — For National Symphony Orchestra principal clarinet Lin Ma, next month’s planned tour to Japan and China was more than a business trip.WASHINGTON — For National Symphony Orchestra principal clarinet Lin Ma, next month’s planned tour to Japan and China was more than a business trip.
A native of China, Ma studied clarinet in Beijing before coming to the United States at age 17. Now 30 and in his second year with the NSO, Ma was anticipating a joyous homecoming and the chance to perform — as a principal in a major American orchestra no less — for family and friends he had left behind.A native of China, Ma studied clarinet in Beijing before coming to the United States at age 17. Now 30 and in his second year with the NSO, Ma was anticipating a joyous homecoming and the chance to perform — as a principal in a major American orchestra no less — for family and friends he had left behind.
But the school reunion and a vacation with his parents, whom he hasn’t seen since last year, won’t happen. The NSO decided to cancel three concerts in China because of the coronavirus outbreak, leaving it with five performances in Japan from March 6 to 11.But the school reunion and a vacation with his parents, whom he hasn’t seen since last year, won’t happen. The NSO decided to cancel three concerts in China because of the coronavirus outbreak, leaving it with five performances in Japan from March 6 to 11.
“It is disappointing,” said Ma, who was to meet his clarinet teachers and friends from the middle and high school attached to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. “I was going to have a great time in China. My parents were planning to go to Shanghai for the last performance of the tour, and after we were planning to do a small trip to cities around Shanghai.“It is disappointing,” said Ma, who was to meet his clarinet teachers and friends from the middle and high school attached to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. “I was going to have a great time in China. My parents were planning to go to Shanghai for the last performance of the tour, and after we were planning to do a small trip to cities around Shanghai.
“For me, it’s unfortunate, but it’s bigger than the tour,” he said. “I hope the virus can be contained as soon as possible.”“For me, it’s unfortunate, but it’s bigger than the tour,” he said. “I hope the virus can be contained as soon as possible.”
Read more here.Read more here.
WASHINGTON — This is how most Americans have come to know the Chinese city of Wuhan, where health workers are trying to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus outbreak: a panicked metropolis, a hastily constructed hospital built to accommodate masses of victims and an eerie scene of empty streets.WASHINGTON — This is how most Americans have come to know the Chinese city of Wuhan, where health workers are trying to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus outbreak: a panicked metropolis, a hastily constructed hospital built to accommodate masses of victims and an eerie scene of empty streets.
But Wuhan has other faces — such as its thriving punk scene, abundant cherry blossoms and historic temples. Then there’s the city’s signature dish, hot dry noodles, or re gan mian. Picture a bowlful of springy spirals coated in a thick brown paste of toasted sesame, sometimes graced with flecks of fiery red pepper, pickled vegetables, green onions or soft herbs.But Wuhan has other faces — such as its thriving punk scene, abundant cherry blossoms and historic temples. Then there’s the city’s signature dish, hot dry noodles, or re gan mian. Picture a bowlful of springy spirals coated in a thick brown paste of toasted sesame, sometimes graced with flecks of fiery red pepper, pickled vegetables, green onions or soft herbs.
With Wuhan on lockdown and the world watching through the grainy lens of newspaper photos or the remove of websites and smartphones, hot dry noodles have become its unlikely ambassador, a reminder that Wuhan, the river-crossed home to more than 11 million people, is more than just the epicenter of a lethal virus.With Wuhan on lockdown and the world watching through the grainy lens of newspaper photos or the remove of websites and smartphones, hot dry noodles have become its unlikely ambassador, a reminder that Wuhan, the river-crossed home to more than 11 million people, is more than just the epicenter of a lethal virus.
Read more here.Read more here.
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper has identified 11 military installations that could house quarantined travelers returning to the United States if Department of Health and Human Services facilities become filled, the Defense Department said Thursday.WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper has identified 11 military installations that could house quarantined travelers returning to the United States if Department of Health and Human Services facilities become filled, the Defense Department said Thursday.
Each installation pairs with one of the 11 airports where flights from China have been directed to land because of the coronavirus outbreak. As many as 20 people could stay at each installation during their mandatory 14-day quarantine, DOD said in a statement.Each installation pairs with one of the 11 airports where flights from China have been directed to land because of the coronavirus outbreak. As many as 20 people could stay at each installation during their mandatory 14-day quarantine, DOD said in a statement.
HHS will bring any evacuee who is ill to a civilian hospital and ensure they do not go to a DOD facility. The Defense Department also plans to provide office space for HHS employees through Feb. 22.HHS will bring any evacuee who is ill to a civilian hospital and ensure they do not go to a DOD facility. The Defense Department also plans to provide office space for HHS employees through Feb. 22.
Here are the chosen military installations with their corresponding airports.Here are the chosen military installations with their corresponding airports.
WASHINGTON — Scientists are wrestling with the sticky question of what to call the novel coronavirus. Right now, it is officially “2019 nCoV,” which is inelegant at best and does little to describe either the virus or the resulting disease in humans.WASHINGTON — Scientists are wrestling with the sticky question of what to call the novel coronavirus. Right now, it is officially “2019 nCoV,” which is inelegant at best and does little to describe either the virus or the resulting disease in humans.
But the virus could acquire a new, more easily communicated name in the coming days. It could be a variant of an existing name, SARS, which stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome, according to two scientists involved in the decision.But the virus could acquire a new, more easily communicated name in the coming days. It could be a variant of an existing name, SARS, which stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome, according to two scientists involved in the decision.
The SARS virus emerged in southern China in 2002 and killed more than 700 people before it was contained. The new virus is genetically similar. Both are coronaviruses of the type found in bats.The SARS virus emerged in southern China in 2002 and killed more than 700 people before it was contained. The new virus is genetically similar. Both are coronaviruses of the type found in bats.
“They likely had a common ancestor in the bat population,” said Stanley Perlman, a virologist at the University of Iowa who is part of the Coronavirus Study Group, a subset of the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses.“They likely had a common ancestor in the bat population,” said Stanley Perlman, a virologist at the University of Iowa who is part of the Coronavirus Study Group, a subset of the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses.
“It’s like a cousin. They probably started from a common ancestor some years ago in bats, and they mutated and evolved, and that’s what you have now,” he said.“It’s like a cousin. They probably started from a common ancestor some years ago in bats, and they mutated and evolved, and that’s what you have now,” he said.
He said the committee favors including SARS in the name of the new virus.He said the committee favors including SARS in the name of the new virus.
“It’s close to SARS. But it’s not SARS. You could say a SARS-like virus, slash Wuhan, slash 2019,” he said. “From a taxonomic point of view, it’s so related to the previous virus, it needs to be included in its name.”“It’s close to SARS. But it’s not SARS. You could say a SARS-like virus, slash Wuhan, slash 2019,” he said. “From a taxonomic point of view, it’s so related to the previous virus, it needs to be included in its name.”
Of the roughly 30,000 nucleotides (or “letters”) in the virus genome, about 6,400 are different, according to Benjamin Neuman, a virologist at Texas A&M at Texarkana who is also in the Coronavirus Study Group.Of the roughly 30,000 nucleotides (or “letters”) in the virus genome, about 6,400 are different, according to Benjamin Neuman, a virologist at Texas A&M at Texarkana who is also in the Coronavirus Study Group.
WASHINGTON — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told lawmakers that there was no discussion of canceling the 2020 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo in a few months, despite the outbreak of the coronavirus.WASHINGTON — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told lawmakers that there was no discussion of canceling the 2020 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo in a few months, despite the outbreak of the coronavirus.
“In terms of whether to hold the Tokyo Games, I’d like to make it clear that there have been no talks or plans being considered between organizers and the International Olympic Committee since the World Health Organization declared an emergency,” Abe told parliament Thursday, Kyodo News agency reported.“In terms of whether to hold the Tokyo Games, I’d like to make it clear that there have been no talks or plans being considered between organizers and the International Olympic Committee since the World Health Organization declared an emergency,” Abe told parliament Thursday, Kyodo News agency reported.
The reassurance comes as the coronavirus spreads, causing travel chaos across the region. Japan has 45 confirmed cases of the virus.The reassurance comes as the coronavirus spreads, causing travel chaos across the region. Japan has 45 confirmed cases of the virus.
The Olympic torch is due to arrive in the country’s northern Miyagi prefecture in six weeks, with the games themselves set to begin July 24. The virus has already disrupted some Olympic qualifiers, causing officials to worry.The Olympic torch is due to arrive in the country’s northern Miyagi prefecture in six weeks, with the games themselves set to begin July 24. The virus has already disrupted some Olympic qualifiers, causing officials to worry.
“We might possibly even see another outbreak in the middle of the Olympics,” Hitoshi Oshitani, a virology professor at Tohoku University’s School of Medicine, said in an interview last week. “We have to be well prepared for that possibility. It is not something unthinkable.”“We might possibly even see another outbreak in the middle of the Olympics,” Hitoshi Oshitani, a virology professor at Tohoku University’s School of Medicine, said in an interview last week. “We have to be well prepared for that possibility. It is not something unthinkable.”
WASHINGTON — The Anti-Defamation League said that extremist groups are using the coronavirus outbreak to spread conspiracy theories, including ones focused on anti-Semitism and a future race war.WASHINGTON — The Anti-Defamation League said that extremist groups are using the coronavirus outbreak to spread conspiracy theories, including ones focused on anti-Semitism and a future race war.
“Extremists hope the virus kills Jews, but they are also using its emergence to advance their anti-Semitic theories that Jews are responsible for creating the virus, are spreading it to increase their control over a decimated population, or they are profiting off it,” the ADL wrote Thursday.“Extremists hope the virus kills Jews, but they are also using its emergence to advance their anti-Semitic theories that Jews are responsible for creating the virus, are spreading it to increase their control over a decimated population, or they are profiting off it,” the ADL wrote Thursday.
“Some extremists have tied reports documenting Chinese efforts to safely dispose of victims’ bodies to cast doubt on the number of Jews who died during the Holocaust,” the organization added.“Some extremists have tied reports documenting Chinese efforts to safely dispose of victims’ bodies to cast doubt on the number of Jews who died during the Holocaust,” the organization added.
The ADL is one of the oldest U.S. organizations that collects data on hate around the world. Although it is a Jewish organization, it also catalogues other forms of extremism.The ADL is one of the oldest U.S. organizations that collects data on hate around the world. Although it is a Jewish organization, it also catalogues other forms of extremism.
The group noted that on platforms used by extremists such as Telegram and 4chan, users “regularly share racist messages or caricatures of Chinese people, mocking their eating habits, accents and hygiene” and hope that the virus will spread to predominantly nonwhite countries.The group noted that on platforms used by extremists such as Telegram and 4chan, users “regularly share racist messages or caricatures of Chinese people, mocking their eating habits, accents and hygiene” and hope that the virus will spread to predominantly nonwhite countries.
If you’ve seen or experienced discrimination, racism or xenophobia connected to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, The Washington Post wants to hear your story.If you’ve seen or experienced discrimination, racism or xenophobia connected to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, The Washington Post wants to hear your story.
TORONTO — Nearly 200 people in Wuhan are boarding a chartered flight that will take them from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak to a Canadian military base in Ontario, where they will be quarantined for two weeks, Canadian officials said Thursday.TORONTO — Nearly 200 people in Wuhan are boarding a chartered flight that will take them from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak to a Canadian military base in Ontario, where they will be quarantined for two weeks, Canadian officials said Thursday.
A total of 347 people have asked to be evacuated from China’s Hubei province, Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne told reporters in Ottawa. Of 211 people on a manifest for the flight early Friday, 194 showed up. A U.S. flight leaving later in the day and a second Canadian plane slated to depart Wuhan on Feb. 10 will evacuate some of the remaining Canadians.A total of 347 people have asked to be evacuated from China’s Hubei province, Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne told reporters in Ottawa. Of 211 people on a manifest for the flight early Friday, 194 showed up. A U.S. flight leaving later in the day and a second Canadian plane slated to depart Wuhan on Feb. 10 will evacuate some of the remaining Canadians.
Patty Hajdu, Canada’s health minister, said all passengers were being screened before boarding and will undergo health checks during the flight. Anyone showing symptoms of coronavirus at the gate will not be permitted to board the airplane. Passengers who fall ill en route to Canada will be transported to local health facilities upon arrival.Patty Hajdu, Canada’s health minister, said all passengers were being screened before boarding and will undergo health checks during the flight. Anyone showing symptoms of coronavirus at the gate will not be permitted to board the airplane. Passengers who fall ill en route to Canada will be transported to local health facilities upon arrival.
“It is a critical time in the global efforts to contain and limit the outbreak,” Hajdu said.“It is a critical time in the global efforts to contain and limit the outbreak,” Hajdu said.
Champagne said that two Canadians are among the passengers who have tested positive for the virus on the Diamond Princess cruise liner anchored in Japan’s Yokohama harbor. They have been transferred to health facilities there. Thirty Canadians are on a second cruise ship docked in Hong Kong, but it’s unclear whether any of them have the virus, Champagne added.Champagne said that two Canadians are among the passengers who have tested positive for the virus on the Diamond Princess cruise liner anchored in Japan’s Yokohama harbor. They have been transferred to health facilities there. Thirty Canadians are on a second cruise ship docked in Hong Kong, but it’s unclear whether any of them have the virus, Champagne added.
Theresa Tam, Canada’s public health officer, said there is “no clear evidence” that asymptomatic people can transmit the disease, and even if they could, such transmission would be “very rare,” based on what is known about coronaviruses and what drives the spread of epidemics.Theresa Tam, Canada’s public health officer, said there is “no clear evidence” that asymptomatic people can transmit the disease, and even if they could, such transmission would be “very rare,” based on what is known about coronaviruses and what drives the spread of epidemics.
WASHINGTON — Two more people in Singapore have contracted the coronavirus, according to the country’s Ministry of Health, raising the total number of patients there to 30, the Straits Times reported Thursday.WASHINGTON — Two more people in Singapore have contracted the coronavirus, according to the country’s Ministry of Health, raising the total number of patients there to 30, the Straits Times reported Thursday.
One of the new patients had not traveled to China recently.One of the new patients had not traveled to China recently.
Singapore was among the first countries to implement restrictions on travelers from or who had recently visited China in response to the outbreak.Singapore was among the first countries to implement restrictions on travelers from or who had recently visited China in response to the outbreak.
At least three people who attended an international business meeting at the Grand Hyatt Singapore last month have been infected, Reuters reported.At least three people who attended an international business meeting at the Grand Hyatt Singapore last month have been infected, Reuters reported.
Singapore is the country third-most-affected by the new coronavirus, after Japan, where 45 cases have been confirmed, and China, the epicenter of the epidemic, where more than 99 percent of known cases have been found.Singapore is the country third-most-affected by the new coronavirus, after Japan, where 45 cases have been confirmed, and China, the epicenter of the epidemic, where more than 99 percent of known cases have been found.
WASHINGTON — A video shot by a U.S. citizen aboard a flight out of Wuhan shows strict quarantine measures in place due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.WASHINGTON — A video shot by a U.S. citizen aboard a flight out of Wuhan shows strict quarantine measures in place due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“I know I am talking loud because I really cannot measure my tone at all in this ghostbuster outfit,” a man in a hazmat suit tells the passengers, traveling via cargo plane on a flight arranged by the U.S. government.“I know I am talking loud because I really cannot measure my tone at all in this ghostbuster outfit,” a man in a hazmat suit tells the passengers, traveling via cargo plane on a flight arranged by the U.S. government.
Ningxi Xu, 30, who lives in New Jersey and was visiting family in Wuhan, shared the footage with The Post. Xu was on a flight that landed at Travis Air Force Base, southwest of Sacramento, on Feb. 5, then continued to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.Ningxi Xu, 30, who lives in New Jersey and was visiting family in Wuhan, shared the footage with The Post. Xu was on a flight that landed at Travis Air Force Base, southwest of Sacramento, on Feb. 5, then continued to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.
Xu is under a mandatory 14-day quarantine at the Miramar base, part of the first quarantine ordered by federal health officials in more than 50 years.Xu is under a mandatory 14-day quarantine at the Miramar base, part of the first quarantine ordered by federal health officials in more than 50 years.
In a phone call Wednesday, Xu said that the medical staff on board were friendly and upbeat — a feat after an overnight delay in the Wuhan airport and a nearly 12-hour flight to California. “They were all really nice and helpful and I think some of them had also been working 24-hour shifts,” she said.In a phone call Wednesday, Xu said that the medical staff on board were friendly and upbeat — a feat after an overnight delay in the Wuhan airport and a nearly 12-hour flight to California. “They were all really nice and helpful and I think some of them had also been working 24-hour shifts,” she said.
Each passenger was given a wristband with a number and everyone on the plane wore masks. Most slept throughout the journey and even once they woke, the passengers mainly tried “to keep to themselves,” Xu said. Their temperatures were recorded before takeoff, twice during the flight and again when they landed in California. There, Xu was called to the front of the plane because her temperature had risen slightly.Each passenger was given a wristband with a number and everyone on the plane wore masks. Most slept throughout the journey and even once they woke, the passengers mainly tried “to keep to themselves,” Xu said. Their temperatures were recorded before takeoff, twice during the flight and again when they landed in California. There, Xu was called to the front of the plane because her temperature had risen slightly.
“When I walked down the aisle people sitting in the aisle were trying to not get close to me,” she said, calling it a brief but “nerve-racking episode.”“When I walked down the aisle people sitting in the aisle were trying to not get close to me,” she said, calling it a brief but “nerve-racking episode.”
Her temperature was still well within the normal range, so officials let her de-board quickly and head toward the hotel on the base, where she and the other passengers will stay in quarantine for two weeks.Her temperature was still well within the normal range, so officials let her de-board quickly and head toward the hotel on the base, where she and the other passengers will stay in quarantine for two weeks.
MANILA — A village that housed athletes during the Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines has been converted to a quarantine facility for Filipinos returning from China amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.MANILA — A village that housed athletes during the Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines has been converted to a quarantine facility for Filipinos returning from China amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Officials announced Wednesday that the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City, about a two-hour drive north of Manila, would house those repatriated from Hubei province, where the epidemic began.Officials announced Wednesday that the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City, about a two-hour drive north of Manila, would house those repatriated from Hubei province, where the epidemic began.
A total of 45 Filipinos are expected to return to the country over the weekend, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.A total of 45 Filipinos are expected to return to the country over the weekend, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Those exhibiting symptoms will be taken to hospitals, while asymptomatic passengers will stay for two weeks in quarantine.Those exhibiting symptoms will be taken to hospitals, while asymptomatic passengers will stay for two weeks in quarantine.
Health officials said one room would be allotted per person, but a room could also fit a family of three.Health officials said one room would be allotted per person, but a room could also fit a family of three.
“We will be providing the needed medical logistics including hygiene kits, disinfectant solutions, transportation, and other things that will be needed in the quarantine process,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.“We will be providing the needed medical logistics including hygiene kits, disinfectant solutions, transportation, and other things that will be needed in the quarantine process,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
The Philippines has reported three confirmed cases of the virus, while 178 patients are under observation.The Philippines has reported three confirmed cases of the virus, while 178 patients are under observation.
WASHINGTON — As coronavirus has spread across Asia, so have fears over shortages of supplies. In Hong Kong, where experts have declared an outbreak of the virus and one person has died, residents are urgently stocking up on face masks, soap, rice — and toilet paper. Lots and lots of toilet paper.WASHINGTON — As coronavirus has spread across Asia, so have fears over shortages of supplies. In Hong Kong, where experts have declared an outbreak of the virus and one person has died, residents are urgently stocking up on face masks, soap, rice — and toilet paper. Lots and lots of toilet paper.
Photos shared on social media show empty supermarket shelves where rows of toilet paper would normally be. “Thought it was a joke but can confirm #HongKong has run out of toilet paper (and hand soap),” one person tweeted, sharing footage of vacant shelves.Photos shared on social media show empty supermarket shelves where rows of toilet paper would normally be. “Thought it was a joke but can confirm #HongKong has run out of toilet paper (and hand soap),” one person tweeted, sharing footage of vacant shelves.
A Bloomberg News reporter visited eight supermarkets in a busy neighborhood Wednesday evening and couldn’t find a single roll. Other videos shared online show people scrambling to get their hands on what’s left in stores, as employees in some cases try to limit purchases of paper towels and other goods to one package per person.A Bloomberg News reporter visited eight supermarkets in a busy neighborhood Wednesday evening and couldn’t find a single roll. Other videos shared online show people scrambling to get their hands on what’s left in stores, as employees in some cases try to limit purchases of paper towels and other goods to one package per person.
The city is already experiencing a shortage of face masks, which doctors are urging people to wear to limit the spread of infection.The city is already experiencing a shortage of face masks, which doctors are urging people to wear to limit the spread of infection.
The South China Morning Post’s Hong Kong edition tweeted that a leading supermarket chain is trying to debunk what they call rumors over the toilet paper shortage. But whether there’s an actual shortage or not, the panic buying doesn’t seem to be slowing down. On Wednesday, a Washington Post reporter saw one foreigner packing at least a dozen bags of toilet paper into his vehicle.The South China Morning Post’s Hong Kong edition tweeted that a leading supermarket chain is trying to debunk what they call rumors over the toilet paper shortage. But whether there’s an actual shortage or not, the panic buying doesn’t seem to be slowing down. On Wednesday, a Washington Post reporter saw one foreigner packing at least a dozen bags of toilet paper into his vehicle.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced Wednesday a commitment of $100 million toward the global response to the coronavirus epidemic.The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced Wednesday a commitment of $100 million toward the global response to the coronavirus epidemic.
“The funding will help strengthen detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations; and develop vaccines, treatments and diagnostics,” the Seattle-based foundation said in a news release. In late January, it pledged $10 million for fighting the virus. That figure is included in the latest sum.“The funding will help strengthen detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations; and develop vaccines, treatments and diagnostics,” the Seattle-based foundation said in a news release. In late January, it pledged $10 million for fighting the virus. That figure is included in the latest sum.
These funds will be channeled toward multilateral organizations, including the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as to health authorities in China and other high-risk countries. The rest will be directed “to help public health authorities cover the initial cost of labor and supplies while international agencies and national governments appropriate the resources necessary to fund ongoing operations,” the foundation said.These funds will be channeled toward multilateral organizations, including the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as to health authorities in China and other high-risk countries. The rest will be directed “to help public health authorities cover the initial cost of labor and supplies while international agencies and national governments appropriate the resources necessary to fund ongoing operations,” the foundation said.
Read more: The Gates Foundation promises $100 million to fight the coronavirusRead more: The Gates Foundation promises $100 million to fight the coronavirus
HANGZHOU, China — A Chinese doctor who was silenced by police for trying to share news about the new coronavirus long before Chinese health authorities disclosed its full threat died Thursday from the disease, his friends and colleagues said.HANGZHOU, China — A Chinese doctor who was silenced by police for trying to share news about the new coronavirus long before Chinese health authorities disclosed its full threat died Thursday from the disease, his friends and colleagues said.
Li Wenliang, 34, an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, became a national hero and a symbol of the Chinese government’s systemic failings last month. Li had tried to warn his medical school classmates on Dec. 30 about the existence of a contagious new virus that resembled the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).Li Wenliang, 34, an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, became a national hero and a symbol of the Chinese government’s systemic failings last month. Li had tried to warn his medical school classmates on Dec. 30 about the existence of a contagious new virus that resembled the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Word began to spread in China thanks to Li, but his posts were censored and he was detained on Jan. 1 for “rumor-mongering.”Word began to spread in China thanks to Li, but his posts were censored and he was detained on Jan. 1 for “rumor-mongering.”
The full outlines of his story, which came to light in recent weeks as the Wuhan outbreak exploded into an international emergency, set off a swell of outrage in China, where citizens have long chafed at the government’s penchant for relentlessly snuffing out any speech deemed threatening to social stability.The full outlines of his story, which came to light in recent weeks as the Wuhan outbreak exploded into an international emergency, set off a swell of outrage in China, where citizens have long chafed at the government’s penchant for relentlessly snuffing out any speech deemed threatening to social stability.
Read more: Chinese doctor who tried to raise alarm on coronavirus in Wuhan dies of diseaseRead more: Chinese doctor who tried to raise alarm on coronavirus in Wuhan dies of disease
WASHINGTON — The World Health Organization will convene a global research and innovation forum on Tuesday and Wednesday to coordinate international responses for containing and combating the novel coronavirus outbreak.WASHINGTON — The World Health Organization will convene a global research and innovation forum on Tuesday and Wednesday to coordinate international responses for containing and combating the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“The aim is to fast-track the development of effective diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicines,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters Thursday in Geneva. “One of the key challenges is coordinating research funds to support key priorities.”“The aim is to fast-track the development of effective diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicines,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters Thursday in Geneva. “One of the key challenges is coordinating research funds to support key priorities.”
Tedros said scientists from all over the world, including China, would attend the conference both in person and by a remote video connection. The WHO is based in Geneva.Tedros said scientists from all over the world, including China, would attend the conference both in person and by a remote video connection. The WHO is based in Geneva.
“A lot of donors want to help, but we need to direct them to support agreed priorities, rather than going off in different directions,” Tedros said of the forum’s intent. “I have said we need to be led by facts, not fears, and science, not rumors. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re letting science lead.”“A lot of donors want to help, but we need to direct them to support agreed priorities, rather than going off in different directions,” Tedros said of the forum’s intent. “I have said we need to be led by facts, not fears, and science, not rumors. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re letting science lead.”
BERLIN — German authorities confirmed the country’s 13th coronavirus case on Thursday. Eleven of them — including the latest patient — are linked to the same company in Bavaria, in southern Germany.BERLIN — German authorities confirmed the country’s 13th coronavirus case on Thursday. Eleven of them — including the latest patient — are linked to the same company in Bavaria, in southern Germany.
Germany’s first coronavirus patient was infected with the virus by a female Chinese colleague who participated in workshops at the automotive supplier’s offices at the end of January.Germany’s first coronavirus patient was infected with the virus by a female Chinese colleague who participated in workshops at the automotive supplier’s offices at the end of January.
Authorities initially said the woman did not feel ill during her stay in Germany, which raised concerns that the virus may spread between humans before they show symptoms. The woman has since said that she in fact did notice symptoms before arriving back in China, where she was hospitalized.Authorities initially said the woman did not feel ill during her stay in Germany, which raised concerns that the virus may spread between humans before they show symptoms. The woman has since said that she in fact did notice symptoms before arriving back in China, where she was hospitalized.
Since her departure from Germany, eight workers at the company have been diagnosed with the virus. One of them also infected two of his children and his partner — the latest case announced on Thursday.Since her departure from Germany, eight workers at the company have been diagnosed with the virus. One of them also infected two of his children and his partner — the latest case announced on Thursday.
Authorities said last week that two citizens unrelated to the cluster in southern Germany who were flown out of Wuhan on an evacuation flight had tested positive for the virus.Authorities said last week that two citizens unrelated to the cluster in southern Germany who were flown out of Wuhan on an evacuation flight had tested positive for the virus.
WASHINGTON — The British government has confirmed its third case of coronavirus in the country in a statement from England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty.WASHINGTON — The British government has confirmed its third case of coronavirus in the country in a statement from England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty.
Whitty said that the unnamed individual was being treated in a specialized health center run by Britain’s National Health Service and that the person had not acquired the virus in the country.Whitty said that the unnamed individual was being treated in a specialized health center run by Britain’s National Health Service and that the person had not acquired the virus in the country.
“The NHS is well prepared to manage these cases and we are now working quickly to identify any contacts the patient has had,” Whitty said.“The NHS is well prepared to manage these cases and we are now working quickly to identify any contacts the patient has had,” Whitty said.
The first two cases are of Chinese nationals. They are being treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary infectious diseases center in Newcastle upon Tyne, the BBC reported.The first two cases are of Chinese nationals. They are being treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary infectious diseases center in Newcastle upon Tyne, the BBC reported.
The location of the newest case is not known, but Whitty’s statement said the patient is in England.The location of the newest case is not known, but Whitty’s statement said the patient is in England.
China said it would halve tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. goods, pressing forward on the first phase of its trade pact with Washington even as the coronavirus crisis remains a significant hurdle to its economic engine.China said it would halve tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. goods, pressing forward on the first phase of its trade pact with Washington even as the coronavirus crisis remains a significant hurdle to its economic engine.
The phase one agreement signed last month quelled the protracted trade conflict that tied up the world’s two most powerful economies, imperiled global growth and caused chaos for multinational corporations. The terms required both nations to de-escalate tariffs, and compelled China to buy an additional $200 billion in American goods over the next two years.The phase one agreement signed last month quelled the protracted trade conflict that tied up the world’s two most powerful economies, imperiled global growth and caused chaos for multinational corporations. The terms required both nations to de-escalate tariffs, and compelled China to buy an additional $200 billion in American goods over the next two years.
Levies will be slashed from 10 to 5 percent or from 5 to 2.5 percent on hundreds of U.S. products starting Feb. 14, China’s Finance Ministry said. The tariffs on cars, oil, soybeans and other goods date back to September and were implemented in response to additional tariffs the United States applied in the fall.Levies will be slashed from 10 to 5 percent or from 5 to 2.5 percent on hundreds of U.S. products starting Feb. 14, China’s Finance Ministry said. The tariffs on cars, oil, soybeans and other goods date back to September and were implemented in response to additional tariffs the United States applied in the fall.
Read more: “China cuts tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. imports as coronavirus keeps it in lockdown”Read more: “China cuts tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. imports as coronavirus keeps it in lockdown”
The government of Wales said a “small number” of schools had excluded from class students of Chinese heritage, or those who had traveled recently to China but were not sick, the BBC reported.The government of Wales said a “small number” of schools had excluded from class students of Chinese heritage, or those who had traveled recently to China but were not sick, the BBC reported.
Officials ordered all schools to end such policies, which contravene the recommendations of Wales’s national public health agency.Officials ordered all schools to end such policies, which contravene the recommendations of Wales’s national public health agency.
Communities around the world have sounded the alarm over discriminatory responses to the coronavirus epidemic.Communities around the world have sounded the alarm over discriminatory responses to the coronavirus epidemic.
A top conservatory in Italy faced accusations of racism after barring East Asian students from class. In Canada, nearly 10,000 people signed a petition to keep Chinese students out of school temporarily before a local school board rejected it.A top conservatory in Italy faced accusations of racism after barring East Asian students from class. In Canada, nearly 10,000 people signed a petition to keep Chinese students out of school temporarily before a local school board rejected it.
If you’ve seen or experienced discrimination, racism or xenophobia connected to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, The Washington Post wants to hear your story.If you’ve seen or experienced discrimination, racism or xenophobia connected to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, The Washington Post wants to hear your story.
DUBAI — Vietnam reported two new cases of coronavirus, bringing its national total up to 12, with both people having been in contact with previous patients, the Health Ministry said in a statement reported by Reuters.DUBAI — Vietnam reported two new cases of coronavirus, bringing its national total up to 12, with both people having been in contact with previous patients, the Health Ministry said in a statement reported by Reuters.
Vietnam, which shares a long border and close trade ties with neighboring China, said the crisis is expected to have deep effects on the economy.Vietnam, which shares a long border and close trade ties with neighboring China, said the crisis is expected to have deep effects on the economy.
The Ministry of Trade said exports to China could drop up to $600 million in the first quarter of 2020, according to the Vietnam News — assuming the outbreak is brought under control in the next three months.The Ministry of Trade said exports to China could drop up to $600 million in the first quarter of 2020, according to the Vietnam News — assuming the outbreak is brought under control in the next three months.
“For the last two weeks, the outbreak has quickly made direct impacts on Vietnam’s economy in trade, tourism, transport, the stock market and production,” said the ministry.“For the last two weeks, the outbreak has quickly made direct impacts on Vietnam’s economy in trade, tourism, transport, the stock market and production,” said the ministry.
Like many countries in the region, Vietnam hosts large numbers of Chinese tourists. China is also the largest market for Vietnam’s food and vegetable exports, many of which have been stuck at the border.Like many countries in the region, Vietnam hosts large numbers of Chinese tourists. China is also the largest market for Vietnam’s food and vegetable exports, many of which have been stuck at the border.
Minister of Trade Nguyen Chi Dung expressed doubt that the country would achieve its gross domestic product growth target of 6.8 percent.Minister of Trade Nguyen Chi Dung expressed doubt that the country would achieve its gross domestic product growth target of 6.8 percent.
Romania declared a flu epidemic Thursday in an effort to contain the viral outbreak that’s killed 18 people in recent weeks. France did the same Wednesday after 26 people died of the virus since November.Romania declared a flu epidemic Thursday in an effort to contain the viral outbreak that’s killed 18 people in recent weeks. France did the same Wednesday after 26 people died of the virus since November.
It’s a reminder of the seasonal influenza’s yearly toll. In the United States, at least 10,000 people have died of the flu in the last four months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)It’s a reminder of the seasonal influenza’s yearly toll. In the United States, at least 10,000 people have died of the flu in the last four months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)
As the world anxiously watches the march of the coronavirus outbreak, health officials have repeatedly reminded worried publics that the flu remains a relatively far deadlier threat in many parts of the world — and simple acts like vaccinations and hand washing can go a long way in preventing its spread.As the world anxiously watches the march of the coronavirus outbreak, health officials have repeatedly reminded worried publics that the flu remains a relatively far deadlier threat in many parts of the world — and simple acts like vaccinations and hand washing can go a long way in preventing its spread.
In both France and Romania, children, the elderly and people with preexisting health problems were the most likely to face serious flu cases, according to reports from health officials.In both France and Romania, children, the elderly and people with preexisting health problems were the most likely to face serious flu cases, according to reports from health officials.
Last year in France, 9,500 people died of the flu, and up to 6 million people were affected, according to the Local.Last year in France, 9,500 people died of the flu, and up to 6 million people were affected, according to the Local.
WASHINGTON — China’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Chinese airlines would not suspend flights to the country, criticizing foreign airlines that have done so for breaking with the advice of the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization.WASHINGTON — China’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Chinese airlines would not suspend flights to the country, criticizing foreign airlines that have done so for breaking with the advice of the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization.
“Hard to find outbound flights from China soon? Absolutely wrong! China’s airlines won’t suspend flights and will take Chinese nationals home,” the ministry wrote in a Twitter message.“Hard to find outbound flights from China soon? Absolutely wrong! China’s airlines won’t suspend flights and will take Chinese nationals home,” the ministry wrote in a Twitter message.
Scores of international airlines have canceled all flights to mainland China, but most with routes to Hong Kong still fly there. American Airlines and United Airlines have announced temporary restrictions on flights to Hong Kong.Scores of international airlines have canceled all flights to mainland China, but most with routes to Hong Kong still fly there. American Airlines and United Airlines have announced temporary restrictions on flights to Hong Kong.
Some Chinese carriers, including China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines, have suspended some flights to North America, but China’s central civil aviation authority has refused to suspend flights overall.Some Chinese carriers, including China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines, have suspended some flights to North America, but China’s central civil aviation authority has refused to suspend flights overall.
In is unclear how many Chinese citizens are stranded abroad because of flight cancellations. State media have reported that chartered flights have brought home more than 1,500 people to the province of Hubei so far.In is unclear how many Chinese citizens are stranded abroad because of flight cancellations. State media have reported that chartered flights have brought home more than 1,500 people to the province of Hubei so far.
BEIJING — China vowed Friday to take strict measures to minimize the spread of the coronavirus as millions of migrant workers returned to cities around the country.BEIJING — China vowed Friday to take strict measures to minimize the spread of the coronavirus as millions of migrant workers returned to cities around the country.
“Staff workers are going back to work, heightening the epidemic risk for destinations of human migration,” Cai Tuanjie, deputy director of transport service at the Ministry of Transport, told a news conference Thursday.“Staff workers are going back to work, heightening the epidemic risk for destinations of human migration,” Cai Tuanjie, deputy director of transport service at the Ministry of Transport, told a news conference Thursday.
“We are working to come up with targeted solutions, to resolutely prevent the epidemic from spreading on public transport, and to reduce the imported risks brought by passenger arrivals.”“We are working to come up with targeted solutions, to resolutely prevent the epidemic from spreading on public transport, and to reduce the imported risks brought by passenger arrivals.”
The measures include compulsory temperature checks, strengthened disinfection, better ventilation and higher hygiene standards in both vehicles and terminals. Those showing symptoms of fever will be immediately handed over to health departments, he said.The measures include compulsory temperature checks, strengthened disinfection, better ventilation and higher hygiene standards in both vehicles and terminals. Those showing symptoms of fever will be immediately handed over to health departments, he said.
China Railway will ensure an occupation rate of no more than 50 percent on trains, while civil aviation authorities have asked airlines to reserve a “quarantine zone” on the plane and seat passengers as apart as possible.China Railway will ensure an occupation rate of no more than 50 percent on trains, while civil aviation authorities have asked airlines to reserve a “quarantine zone” on the plane and seat passengers as apart as possible.
Cai said local governments are prohibited from shutting down expressways or blocking artery highways without permission. He also urged provinces and cities, Hubei excluded, to make plans about resuming intercity buses, taxis and other public transport.Cai said local governments are prohibited from shutting down expressways or blocking artery highways without permission. He also urged provinces and cities, Hubei excluded, to make plans about resuming intercity buses, taxis and other public transport.
“More importantly, I would love to remind every citizen and every passenger to wear a face mask whenever you take the public transportation. It is for protecting yourself as well as for protecting other people,” Cai said.“More importantly, I would love to remind every citizen and every passenger to wear a face mask whenever you take the public transportation. It is for protecting yourself as well as for protecting other people,” Cai said.
The Lunar New Year produces the largest human migration on Earth, with billions of trips made in a 40-day holiday period. This year, the spread of the coronavirus epidemic has forced many to cancel their trips and postponed business and school openings.The Lunar New Year produces the largest human migration on Earth, with billions of trips made in a 40-day holiday period. This year, the spread of the coronavirus epidemic has forced many to cancel their trips and postponed business and school openings.
As of Wednesday, road and train trips had decreased by at least a third from last year’s levels. Since Jan. 29, train and road trips fell to around 13 million a day, down 70 percent from the same period last year, while airlines reported an average 45 percent occupation rate, half of last year’s level.As of Wednesday, road and train trips had decreased by at least a third from last year’s levels. Since Jan. 29, train and road trips fell to around 13 million a day, down 70 percent from the same period last year, while airlines reported an average 45 percent occupation rate, half of last year’s level.
TOKYO — In a bid to head off another cruise liner crisis, Japan announced Thursday that foreign passengers on board the cruise ship Westerdam sailing from Hong Kong would not be allowed to disembark in Japan.TOKYO — In a bid to head off another cruise liner crisis, Japan announced Thursday that foreign passengers on board the cruise ship Westerdam sailing from Hong Kong would not be allowed to disembark in Japan.
There are already nearly 3,700 passengers and crew sitting in quarantine on board the Diamond Princess cruise liner in the port of Yokohama, with 20 people testing positive for the virus on board the ship and taken to local hospitals. Another 171 are still waiting for their test results.There are already nearly 3,700 passengers and crew sitting in quarantine on board the Diamond Princess cruise liner in the port of Yokohama, with 20 people testing positive for the virus on board the ship and taken to local hospitals. Another 171 are still waiting for their test results.
With the Westerdam approaching Japan from Hong Kong, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that foreigners on board the ship would be barred from disembarking unless there are special reasons for them to do so.With the Westerdam approaching Japan from Hong Kong, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that foreigners on board the ship would be barred from disembarking unless there are special reasons for them to do so.
Japan has barred entry only to foreign nationals who have been in China’s virus-hit province of Hubei in the past two weeks, as well as holders of Chinese passports issued by the Hubei provincial government.Japan has barred entry only to foreign nationals who have been in China’s virus-hit province of Hubei in the past two weeks, as well as holders of Chinese passports issued by the Hubei provincial government.
On that basis, there would not be any grounds to issue a blanket ban on foreigners on board the Westerdam, but Abe is obviously keen to avoid another headache such as that posed by the Diamond Princess.On that basis, there would not be any grounds to issue a blanket ban on foreigners on board the Westerdam, but Abe is obviously keen to avoid another headache such as that posed by the Diamond Princess.
Already, the 20 confirmed cases of coronavirus on board that ship have pushed up the number of cases in Japan to 45, putting it in second place in the World Health Organization’s table of countries affected by the virus. More than 99 percent of confirmed coronavirus cases are in China.Already, the 20 confirmed cases of coronavirus on board that ship have pushed up the number of cases in Japan to 45, putting it in second place in the World Health Organization’s table of countries affected by the virus. More than 99 percent of confirmed coronavirus cases are in China.
TOKYO — Japan’s government objected Thursday to a decision from the Federated States of Micronesia to ban anyone from entering the country if they have traveled to a country with confirmed cases of coronavirus within the past 14 days.TOKYO — Japan’s government objected Thursday to a decision from the Federated States of Micronesia to ban anyone from entering the country if they have traveled to a country with confirmed cases of coronavirus within the past 14 days.
Micronesia, a federation of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean, has also strongly urged its citizens not to undertake unnecessary travel to those countries.Micronesia, a federation of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean, has also strongly urged its citizens not to undertake unnecessary travel to those countries.
Japan’s main government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said that Japan’s ambassador to Micronesia met the country’s foreign minister on Wednesday to explain the measures Japan had taken to control the spread of the virus.Japan’s main government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said that Japan’s ambassador to Micronesia met the country’s foreign minister on Wednesday to explain the measures Japan had taken to control the spread of the virus.
“Japan respects the position of Pacific island nations highly vulnerable to infectious diseases, but we also will continue to give thorough explanations to Micronesia and other countries which impose similar measures,” he told a regular news conference.“Japan respects the position of Pacific island nations highly vulnerable to infectious diseases, but we also will continue to give thorough explanations to Micronesia and other countries which impose similar measures,” he told a regular news conference.
The restrictions, which took effect Monday, completely bar citizens of Micronesia from travel to mainland China and ban anyone from entering the country if they had traveled “directly or indirectly” from China. Suga said the island nations of Tuvalu and Niue have imposed similar restrictions.The restrictions, which took effect Monday, completely bar citizens of Micronesia from travel to mainland China and ban anyone from entering the country if they had traveled “directly or indirectly” from China. Suga said the island nations of Tuvalu and Niue have imposed similar restrictions.
Japanese citizens reacted with alarm to the decision by Micronesia, fearing that their country would soon be in the same boat as China, with travel restrictions to and from the country growing by the day. Sensitivities are also high after reports that Japanese citizens have also suffered discrimination in the West over the virus.Japanese citizens reacted with alarm to the decision by Micronesia, fearing that their country would soon be in the same boat as China, with travel restrictions to and from the country growing by the day. Sensitivities are also high after reports that Japanese citizens have also suffered discrimination in the West over the virus.
There has been a debate in Japan about whether the country should have moved more quickly to bar arrivals from China, or whether it should work with Beijing to fight the virus together.There has been a debate in Japan about whether the country should have moved more quickly to bar arrivals from China, or whether it should work with Beijing to fight the virus together.
Japan has recorded 45 cases of coronavirus, including 20 passengers and crew on board a cruise ship docked in Yokohama. It is among 24 countries — not including China and Taiwan — where the virus has been found, according to the World Health Organization.Japan has recorded 45 cases of coronavirus, including 20 passengers and crew on board a cruise ship docked in Yokohama. It is among 24 countries — not including China and Taiwan — where the virus has been found, according to the World Health Organization.
The WHO database shows 28,276 cases of coronavirus around the world, more than 99 percent of them in China.The WHO database shows 28,276 cases of coronavirus around the world, more than 99 percent of them in China.
DAKAR, Senegal — After Africa’s first suspected case of the Wuhan coronavirus emerged last month in the Ivory Coast, doctors sent a sample from the coughing college student to the closest equipped lab — 4,500 miles north, in Paris.DAKAR, Senegal — After Africa’s first suspected case of the Wuhan coronavirus emerged last month in the Ivory Coast, doctors sent a sample from the coughing college student to the closest equipped lab — 4,500 miles north, in Paris.
Officials said the wait for the results, which came back negative, highlighted a need to rapidly expand testing capacity on the continent, where health authorities are scrambling to prepare for a potential outbreak.Officials said the wait for the results, which came back negative, highlighted a need to rapidly expand testing capacity on the continent, where health authorities are scrambling to prepare for a potential outbreak.
No cases have been confirmed so far in any of Africa’s 54 countries, but the risk of an outbreak is high, World Health Organization leaders say. Africa is home to 1.2 billion people, including an estimated 1 million Chinese nationals, who tend to work in business, construction, oil and mining — a testament to Beijing’s increasingly tight relationship with Senegal, Nigeria, Ethiopia and other countries.No cases have been confirmed so far in any of Africa’s 54 countries, but the risk of an outbreak is high, World Health Organization leaders say. Africa is home to 1.2 billion people, including an estimated 1 million Chinese nationals, who tend to work in business, construction, oil and mining — a testament to Beijing’s increasingly tight relationship with Senegal, Nigeria, Ethiopia and other countries.
Flights from the Asian power bring at least 1,000 travelers to the continent each day. But as of this week, only six labs could test for coronavirus. (In the United States, all cases were tested at the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta until Wednesday, when test kits were sent to more than 100 state labs.)Flights from the Asian power bring at least 1,000 travelers to the continent each day. But as of this week, only six labs could test for coronavirus. (In the United States, all cases were tested at the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta until Wednesday, when test kits were sent to more than 100 state labs.)
“Our greatest concern is about the potential for spread in countries with weaker health systems,” which lack the capacity to detect the virus, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday.“Our greatest concern is about the potential for spread in countries with weaker health systems,” which lack the capacity to detect the virus, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday.
To address that concern, medical teams from 15 African nations are convening in Dakar on Thursday for an emergency workshop on the first layer of readiness: diagnosing the new virus. WHO officials said 24 countries, encompassing most of Africa’s population, will receive the material needed to conduct the tests by the end of the week.To address that concern, medical teams from 15 African nations are convening in Dakar on Thursday for an emergency workshop on the first layer of readiness: diagnosing the new virus. WHO officials said 24 countries, encompassing most of Africa’s population, will receive the material needed to conduct the tests by the end of the week.
Read more here: Africa has 1.2 billion people and only six labs that can test for coronavirus. How quickly can they ramp up?Read more here: Africa has 1.2 billion people and only six labs that can test for coronavirus. How quickly can they ramp up?
BERLIN — Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said China provided incorrect figures of Taiwanese coronavirus cases to the World Health Organization, in the self-ruling island’s latest criticism of Beijing.BERLIN — Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said China provided incorrect figures of Taiwanese coronavirus cases to the World Health Organization, in the self-ruling island’s latest criticism of Beijing.
Whereas Beijing reported 13 cases for Taiwan, officials there said the real figure was 10. (By Thursday, that figure had risen to 13.)Whereas Beijing reported 13 cases for Taiwan, officials there said the real figure was 10. (By Thursday, that figure had risen to 13.)
In a statement to Reuters, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it received the numbers in question from the island’s officials.In a statement to Reuters, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it received the numbers in question from the island’s officials.
Taiwan’s latest criticism of China reflects lingering tensions between Taipei and Beijing over the island’s status. Whereas the Chinese Communist Party sees the island as part of “one China” under Beijing’s authority, officials in Taipei say Taiwan is a self-ruled democracy.Taiwan’s latest criticism of China reflects lingering tensions between Taipei and Beijing over the island’s status. Whereas the Chinese Communist Party sees the island as part of “one China” under Beijing’s authority, officials in Taipei say Taiwan is a self-ruled democracy.
‘One China’ dispute means one big headache for Taiwan in coronavirus crisis‘One China’ dispute means one big headache for Taiwan in coronavirus crisis
The dispute has prevented the island from being able to join the WHO, as Beijing has objected to its independent membership.The dispute has prevented the island from being able to join the WHO, as Beijing has objected to its independent membership.
“For the rapidly evolving coronavirus, it is a technical imperative that WHO present visible public health data on Taiwan as an affected area and engage directly with Taiwan public health authorities on actions,” Andrew Bremberg, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said Thursday.“For the rapidly evolving coronavirus, it is a technical imperative that WHO present visible public health data on Taiwan as an affected area and engage directly with Taiwan public health authorities on actions,” Andrew Bremberg, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said Thursday.
The WHO has referred to the self-governing democracy as “Taipei and environs” or simply “Taipei,” among other terms, over the last few weeks. In WHO situation reports, the island is categorized as a “Province/Region/City” in China — a description to which Taiwanese officials objected on Thursday.The WHO has referred to the self-governing democracy as “Taipei and environs” or simply “Taipei,” among other terms, over the last few weeks. In WHO situation reports, the island is categorized as a “Province/Region/City” in China — a description to which Taiwanese officials objected on Thursday.
“We beseech the WHO not to put Taiwan’s information under China, creating mistake after mistake after mistake,” said Ou, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.“We beseech the WHO not to put Taiwan’s information under China, creating mistake after mistake after mistake,” said Ou, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.
The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council — a Chinese government agency — countered in a statement on Thursday that “[we] will continue to make arrangements for Taiwan to obtain information on the prevention and control of the epidemic as part of China, but we will never allow Taiwan to use it as an opportunity to seek ‘Taiwan independence,’” according to Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua.The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council — a Chinese government agency — countered in a statement on Thursday that “[we] will continue to make arrangements for Taiwan to obtain information on the prevention and control of the epidemic as part of China, but we will never allow Taiwan to use it as an opportunity to seek ‘Taiwan independence,’” according to Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua.
The statement accused the island’s ruling party of seeking to use the crisis to expand its “international space.”The statement accused the island’s ruling party of seeking to use the crisis to expand its “international space.”
TOKYO — China’s Internet watchdogs have imposed penalties on apps, social media platforms and web portals for publishing “illicit” content about the spread of the new coronavirus and instigating panic.TOKYO — China’s Internet watchdogs have imposed penalties on apps, social media platforms and web portals for publishing “illicit” content about the spread of the new coronavirus and instigating panic.
The Communist Party in Wuhan has been widely accused of covering up the spread of the virus in January, and even now forbids many medical staff from talking to the media about the chaotic state in the city’s hospitals or the true number of infected patients.The Communist Party in Wuhan has been widely accused of covering up the spread of the virus in January, and even now forbids many medical staff from talking to the media about the chaotic state in the city’s hospitals or the true number of infected patients.
Nevertheless, ordinary citizens and medical staff have published comments and videos that have provided a valuable window into the situation on the ground.Nevertheless, ordinary citizens and medical staff have published comments and videos that have provided a valuable window into the situation on the ground.
On Wednesday night, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced penalties it had imposed on apps, social media, and Web portals for allowing those reports on their services. It said it took the steps to foster a “good online environment for winning the battle against the epidemic.”On Wednesday night, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced penalties it had imposed on apps, social media, and Web portals for allowing those reports on their services. It said it took the steps to foster a “good online environment for winning the battle against the epidemic.”
China’s vast system of censorship relies in large part on forcing social media and Internet companies to be responsible for content that appears on their platforms, and thus to censor politically sensitive content themselves.China’s vast system of censorship relies in large part on forcing social media and Internet companies to be responsible for content that appears on their platforms, and thus to censor politically sensitive content themselves.
Pipi Gaoxiao, a new social networking platform that includes video-sharing and discussion forums, has been removed from iOS and Android app stores after having published short videos and spread content “that instigated public panic,” CAC said in a statement.Pipi Gaoxiao, a new social networking platform that includes video-sharing and discussion forums, has been removed from iOS and Android app stores after having published short videos and spread content “that instigated public panic,” CAC said in a statement.
China’s biggest Internet search engine, Baidu, and an entrepreneurs’ online community, Huxiu, have also been summoned by government censors for talks and asked to suspend “problematic sections” and tighten information management related to the epidemic.China’s biggest Internet search engine, Baidu, and an entrepreneurs’ online community, Huxiu, have also been summoned by government censors for talks and asked to suspend “problematic sections” and tighten information management related to the epidemic.
Cyber regulators sent teams of inspectors to investigate the offices of Sina Weibo and apps owned by Tencent and ByteDance. NetEase Finance and several influential WeChat blogs were disciplined for “doing unauthorized reporting and spreading fake news.”Cyber regulators sent teams of inspectors to investigate the offices of Sina Weibo and apps owned by Tencent and ByteDance. NetEase Finance and several influential WeChat blogs were disciplined for “doing unauthorized reporting and spreading fake news.”
The punishment decision came after a Tuesday meeting in which CAC officials joined the country’s propaganda department in making the decision to “tighten control on online media” and “amplify positive propaganda.”The punishment decision came after a Tuesday meeting in which CAC officials joined the country’s propaganda department in making the decision to “tighten control on online media” and “amplify positive propaganda.”
“We will tighten supervision and control on online media, urge websites and their owners to fulfill their respective obligations in operations and management, and ensure that cyberspace regulators of all levels take supervision responsibilities, so as to guarantee substantial cybersecurity for epidemic prevention and control,” they said.“We will tighten supervision and control on online media, urge websites and their owners to fulfill their respective obligations in operations and management, and ensure that cyberspace regulators of all levels take supervision responsibilities, so as to guarantee substantial cybersecurity for epidemic prevention and control,” they said.
YANGON, Myanmar — A leading microbiologist and infectious disease expert at the University of Hong Kong has declared a community outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Hong Kong, as new cases continue to be discovered in the city, according to the South China Morning Post.YANGON, Myanmar — A leading microbiologist and infectious disease expert at the University of Hong Kong has declared a community outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Hong Kong, as new cases continue to be discovered in the city, according to the South China Morning Post.
Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, who was part of the team that led the discovery of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, virus in 2003, said an increasing number of the city’s confirmed coronavirus patients had not visited mainland China. According to the South China Morning Post, he is now warning that every possible measure must be taken to minimize the spread including further border closures.Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, who was part of the team that led the discovery of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, virus in 2003, said an increasing number of the city’s confirmed coronavirus patients had not visited mainland China. According to the South China Morning Post, he is now warning that every possible measure must be taken to minimize the spread including further border closures.
“The local transmission chain has begun, and if we do nothing to control it, Hong Kong will become another mainland city that has suffered lots of cases,” he said.“The local transmission chain has begun, and if we do nothing to control it, Hong Kong will become another mainland city that has suffered lots of cases,” he said.
Hong Kong will start putting in place a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals from mainland China, a measure that will take effect on Saturday. Critics say the government should have acted sooner in locking down the border with mainland China, where thousands pass through every day, to prevent the spread of the virus. A medical workers strike, which has affected emergency services in the city and involved thousands of doctors and nurses, is ongoing in the hope of pressuring the government into a full closure of the border with mainland China.Hong Kong will start putting in place a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals from mainland China, a measure that will take effect on Saturday. Critics say the government should have acted sooner in locking down the border with mainland China, where thousands pass through every day, to prevent the spread of the virus. A medical workers strike, which has affected emergency services in the city and involved thousands of doctors and nurses, is ongoing in the hope of pressuring the government into a full closure of the border with mainland China.
Meanwhile, panic buying has gripped the city — not just for protective equipment such as masks and alcohol-based sanitizer, but also basics like toilet paper, rice, pasta and instant noodles. Dozens of grocery stores across the territory were completely cleared out of these items on Wednesday and Thursday.Meanwhile, panic buying has gripped the city — not just for protective equipment such as masks and alcohol-based sanitizer, but also basics like toilet paper, rice, pasta and instant noodles. Dozens of grocery stores across the territory were completely cleared out of these items on Wednesday and Thursday.
MOSCOW — Russia could face a garlic shortage because of the coronavirus epidemic in China, Russian Agricultural Bank’s Center for Industry Expertise forecast, according to the Interfax news agency.MOSCOW — Russia could face a garlic shortage because of the coronavirus epidemic in China, Russian Agricultural Bank’s Center for Industry Expertise forecast, according to the Interfax news agency.
A whopping 80 percent of Russia’s garlic supply comes from China, and there’s concern over logistical disruptions due to the outbreak.A whopping 80 percent of Russia’s garlic supply comes from China, and there’s concern over logistical disruptions due to the outbreak.
“Overall garlic imports amount to about 50,000 tons and the gross harvest is about 260,000 tons, but most of it is produced in personal garden plots and private farms,” said Andrei Dalnov, head of the Center for Industry Enterprise. “In practice, this means that in the event of disruptions in Chinese supplies, garlic will disappear from chain stores for a time.”“Overall garlic imports amount to about 50,000 tons and the gross harvest is about 260,000 tons, but most of it is produced in personal garden plots and private farms,” said Andrei Dalnov, head of the Center for Industry Enterprise. “In practice, this means that in the event of disruptions in Chinese supplies, garlic will disappear from chain stores for a time.”
Garlic is a popular home remedy for colds here. Russia’s top five imports from China in 2019 were citrus fruits, worth about $200 million, and frozen fish and vegetables, with each group worth about $100 million, the bank said in a news release. The two countries did about $110 billion in trade with each other last year.Garlic is a popular home remedy for colds here. Russia’s top five imports from China in 2019 were citrus fruits, worth about $200 million, and frozen fish and vegetables, with each group worth about $100 million, the bank said in a news release. The two countries did about $110 billion in trade with each other last year.
Russia’s second-largest food retailer Magnit said on Monday it is suspending fruit and vegetable imports from China due to the spread of the coronavirus and logistical complications, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. Russia might reduce its fish supplies from China, too, the head of the Federal Agency for Fishery Ilya Shestakov told reporters on Wednesday.Russia’s second-largest food retailer Magnit said on Monday it is suspending fruit and vegetable imports from China due to the spread of the coronavirus and logistical complications, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. Russia might reduce its fish supplies from China, too, the head of the Federal Agency for Fishery Ilya Shestakov told reporters on Wednesday.
Russian “fish producers will be able to substitute available volumes of the domestic market,” Shestakov said.Russian “fish producers will be able to substitute available volumes of the domestic market,” Shestakov said.
SEOUL — The first person to be diagnosed with the coronavirus in South Korea last month has fully recovered and will be released from the hospital soon, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Thursday.SEOUL — The first person to be diagnosed with the coronavirus in South Korea last month has fully recovered and will be released from the hospital soon, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Thursday.
The Chinese woman wrote to express her “most sincere gratitude” to the doctors who had treated her when she suffered what she called “this disaster,” according to the Incheon Medical Hospital.The Chinese woman wrote to express her “most sincere gratitude” to the doctors who had treated her when she suffered what she called “this disaster,” according to the Incheon Medical Hospital.
“I have been deeply moved by your neighborliness, you gave me meticulous care,” she wrote in the handwritten letter. “As the saying goes in China, ‘the healer has benevolence’ to me. You are more than that. All of you are my heroes, and I will never forget this experience.”“I have been deeply moved by your neighborliness, you gave me meticulous care,” she wrote in the handwritten letter. “As the saying goes in China, ‘the healer has benevolence’ to me. You are more than that. All of you are my heroes, and I will never forget this experience.”
She was the second in South Korea to have recovered from the coronavirus, following a South Korean patient who was released from the hospital on Wednesday.She was the second in South Korea to have recovered from the coronavirus, following a South Korean patient who was released from the hospital on Wednesday.
She flew from Wuhan to South Korea’s Incheon airport on Jan. 19, was isolated upon entry due to symptoms related to the virus, and spent 18 days in quarantine.She flew from Wuhan to South Korea’s Incheon airport on Jan. 19, was isolated upon entry due to symptoms related to the virus, and spent 18 days in quarantine.
“Thank you and your government once again for all you did for me,” she said, adding that all are welcome to her Chinese hometown “when we get over this illness.”“Thank you and your government once again for all you did for me,” she said, adding that all are welcome to her Chinese hometown “when we get over this illness.”
DUBAI — Saudi Arabia announced Thursday that its citizens and residents were banned from travel to China in light of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.DUBAI — Saudi Arabia announced Thursday that its citizens and residents were banned from travel to China in light of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
The announcement carried by the state news agency came from the directorate of passports, which added that noncitizen residents who violated the measure would not be allowed to return to Saudi Arabia.The announcement carried by the state news agency came from the directorate of passports, which added that noncitizen residents who violated the measure would not be allowed to return to Saudi Arabia.
The new directive comes on top of earlier measures that screened all arrivals to the country for any respiratory ailments. Travelers were earlier told to declare if they had visited China any time in the last 14 days.The new directive comes on top of earlier measures that screened all arrivals to the country for any respiratory ailments. Travelers were earlier told to declare if they had visited China any time in the last 14 days.
The Health Ministry said Sunday that 10 Saudi students were evacuated from Wuhan at the epicenter of the outbreak and were virus-free.The Health Ministry said Sunday that 10 Saudi students were evacuated from Wuhan at the epicenter of the outbreak and were virus-free.
So far cases of the coronavirus have only been reported in the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East — five Chinese tourists.So far cases of the coronavirus have only been reported in the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East — five Chinese tourists.
TOKYO — China began clinical trials in the virus-hit city of Wuhan to determine whether coronavirus patients can be treated with the antiviral drug remdesivir.TOKYO — China began clinical trials in the virus-hit city of Wuhan to determine whether coronavirus patients can be treated with the antiviral drug remdesivir.
Professor Wang Chen and Cao Bin, pulmonologists from the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing, said Wednesday that they would study 761 adult patients in two trials — one to assess 453 severely infected patients, the other on 308 with mild or moderate symptoms — at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital.Professor Wang Chen and Cao Bin, pulmonologists from the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing, said Wednesday that they would study 761 adult patients in two trials — one to assess 453 severely infected patients, the other on 308 with mild or moderate symptoms — at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital.
“We anticipate good results to be achieved in the clinical trials,” Sun Yanrong, deputy director of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development under the Ministry of Science and Technology, told a news conference in Beijing earlier this week.“We anticipate good results to be achieved in the clinical trials,” Sun Yanrong, deputy director of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development under the Ministry of Science and Technology, told a news conference in Beijing earlier this week.
Gilead Sciences, the U.S. company that originally developed remdesivir for ebola and Marburg virus infections, is offering the drug free to support the Chinese trials, which are expected to be finished on April 27.Gilead Sciences, the U.S. company that originally developed remdesivir for ebola and Marburg virus infections, is offering the drug free to support the Chinese trials, which are expected to be finished on April 27.
Remdesivir has not been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration, although doctors can pursue “compassionate use” of a drug in the event of a serious health condition.Remdesivir has not been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration, although doctors can pursue “compassionate use” of a drug in the event of a serious health condition.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology has applied to patent the use of Gilead’s remdesivir to treat the current coronavirus outbreak, a move that could spark fresh tension with the United States over intellectual property and technology transfer.The Wuhan Institute of Virology has applied to patent the use of Gilead’s remdesivir to treat the current coronavirus outbreak, a move that could spark fresh tension with the United States over intellectual property and technology transfer.
Gilead’s patent application, filed in China in 2016 before the virus was identified, cites only the overall family of coronaviruses.Gilead’s patent application, filed in China in 2016 before the virus was identified, cites only the overall family of coronaviruses.
“Gilead has no influence over whether a patent office issues a patent to the Chinese researchers,” company spokesman Ryan McKeel told the Associated Press.“Gilead has no influence over whether a patent office issues a patent to the Chinese researchers,” company spokesman Ryan McKeel told the Associated Press.
“Their application has been filed more than three years after Gilead’s filing and will be considered in view of what is already known about the compound and pending patent applications.”“Their application has been filed more than three years after Gilead’s filing and will be considered in view of what is already known about the compound and pending patent applications.”
The Chinese researchers said they had made their patent application “from the perspective of protecting national interests,” the institute said in a statement.The Chinese researchers said they had made their patent application “from the perspective of protecting national interests,” the institute said in a statement.
“If relevant foreign companies plan to contribute to China’s epidemic prevention and control, we both agree that if the state needs it, we will not require enforcement of rights given by the patent,” it said.“If relevant foreign companies plan to contribute to China’s epidemic prevention and control, we both agree that if the state needs it, we will not require enforcement of rights given by the patent,” it said.
YANGON, Myanmar — Taiwan on Thursday expanded travel restrictions on visitors from China, announcing a ban on foreigners who have visited or lived in the semiautonomous Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macao within the past 14 days.YANGON, Myanmar — Taiwan on Thursday expanded travel restrictions on visitors from China, announcing a ban on foreigners who have visited or lived in the semiautonomous Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macao within the past 14 days.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was including the financial center and gambling hub as part of what it considers an epidemic-hit area. The announcement widened restrictions that were imposed on travelers from mainland China and all mainland Chinese passport holders. All Taiwanese residents returning from those places must self-quarantine for 14 days, the statement added.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was including the financial center and gambling hub as part of what it considers an epidemic-hit area. The announcement widened restrictions that were imposed on travelers from mainland China and all mainland Chinese passport holders. All Taiwanese residents returning from those places must self-quarantine for 14 days, the statement added.
In Hong Kong, pressure is mounting on officials to completely shut the border to mainland China, as fears grow that more countries may impose travel restrictions against Hong Kong similar to those in place for mainland China. The Hong Kong government on Wednesday announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for all travelers arriving from mainland China.In Hong Kong, pressure is mounting on officials to completely shut the border to mainland China, as fears grow that more countries may impose travel restrictions against Hong Kong similar to those in place for mainland China. The Hong Kong government on Wednesday announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for all travelers arriving from mainland China.
TOKYO — A Chinese expert in respiratory diseases said that the real number of people infected with the new coronavirus could be much higher than official figures suggest, and it remains too early to predict a “turning point.”TOKYO — A Chinese expert in respiratory diseases said that the real number of people infected with the new coronavirus could be much higher than official figures suggest, and it remains too early to predict a “turning point.”
The comments from Wang Chen, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the Peking Union Medical College, contrast with an earlier official forecast that it could take up to six weeks to see a drop in infections.The comments from Wang Chen, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the Peking Union Medical College, contrast with an earlier official forecast that it could take up to six weeks to see a drop in infections.
“We have to see that the increase in confirmed cases is not the total number of infections in reality, but only reflects those who had tested positive in nucleic acid tests; and not all patients had gone through the tests,” Wang said in an interview late Wednesday with state China Central Television.“We have to see that the increase in confirmed cases is not the total number of infections in reality, but only reflects those who had tested positive in nucleic acid tests; and not all patients had gone through the tests,” Wang said in an interview late Wednesday with state China Central Television.
“Therefore, the reported new cases are just newly confirmed cases, and there could be more people out there.”“Therefore, the reported new cases are just newly confirmed cases, and there could be more people out there.”
Wang said the number of infected people was “unknowable” and the true scale of the epidemic unclear, adding that there was still a great risk of transmission by unquarantined people.Wang said the number of infected people was “unknowable” and the true scale of the epidemic unclear, adding that there was still a great risk of transmission by unquarantined people.
“Should there be no effective control measures, there’s no way to predict such a turning point,” he said. “In addition, the virus is likely to go on mutating, making it impossible to pinpoint its communicability and pathogenicity. Human migration and a warmer weather could also be influence factors.”“Should there be no effective control measures, there’s no way to predict such a turning point,” he said. “In addition, the virus is likely to go on mutating, making it impossible to pinpoint its communicability and pathogenicity. Human migration and a warmer weather could also be influence factors.”
On Tuesday, National Health Commission epidemiologist Li Lanjuan told CCTV that it would take up to six weeks to fully contain the epidemic and see a drop in infections.On Tuesday, National Health Commission epidemiologist Li Lanjuan told CCTV that it would take up to six weeks to fully contain the epidemic and see a drop in infections.
TOKYO — Another 10 people have tested positive for the coronavirus on board the quarantined cruise liner the Diamond Princess, moored at the Japanese port of Yokohama, Japan’s Health Ministry said Thursday.TOKYO — Another 10 people have tested positive for the coronavirus on board the quarantined cruise liner the Diamond Princess, moored at the Japanese port of Yokohama, Japan’s Health Ministry said Thursday.
Princess Cruise Lines said the latest group to test positive included four Japanese passengers, one from Taiwan, two Americans, two Canadians and one from New Zealand, adding that they would be disembarked immediately and taken to local hospitals.Princess Cruise Lines said the latest group to test positive included four Japanese passengers, one from Taiwan, two Americans, two Canadians and one from New Zealand, adding that they would be disembarked immediately and taken to local hospitals.
On Wednesday, the ship was placed in a 14-day quarantine after nine passengers and one crew member tested positive for the virus, out of 31 people whose test results were analyzed. That group composed of two Australian passengers, three Japanese, three from Hong Kong, and one American, as well as one Filipino crew member.On Wednesday, the ship was placed in a 14-day quarantine after nine passengers and one crew member tested positive for the virus, out of 31 people whose test results were analyzed. That group composed of two Australian passengers, three Japanese, three from Hong Kong, and one American, as well as one Filipino crew member.
On Thursday, another 71 test results came back, showing another 10 people have the virus. A further 171 people on board have been tested for the virus — out of the total of 3,711 passengers and crew on board the ship. Their test results are still pending.On Thursday, another 71 test results came back, showing another 10 people have the virus. A further 171 people on board have been tested for the virus — out of the total of 3,711 passengers and crew on board the ship. Their test results are still pending.
“The health and safety of our guests and crew remains our top priority,” the company said in a statement. “We continue to work closely with the Japan Ministry of Health on all protocols and procedures while ensuring the comfort of our guests.“The health and safety of our guests and crew remains our top priority,” the company said in a statement. “We continue to work closely with the Japan Ministry of Health on all protocols and procedures while ensuring the comfort of our guests.
Passengers on board the vessel have been confined to their cabins during the quarantine period, but the crew are still working.Passengers on board the vessel have been confined to their cabins during the quarantine period, but the crew are still working.
In parliament, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said the quarantine would “in principle” end in 14 days, in line with advice from the World Health Organization, but added the ministry would conduct additional tests “as necessary,” especially if one person fell ill inside a shared cabin.In parliament, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said the quarantine would “in principle” end in 14 days, in line with advice from the World Health Organization, but added the ministry would conduct additional tests “as necessary,” especially if one person fell ill inside a shared cabin.
“We are thinking of testing broadly, but there is a limit to how many we can process each day,” he said. “Given that, we will give priority [to those in most need] and will respond to the situation thoroughly.”“We are thinking of testing broadly, but there is a limit to how many we can process each day,” he said. “Given that, we will give priority [to those in most need] and will respond to the situation thoroughly.”
TOKYO — Japan’s Health Ministry said on Thursday it was encouraged by data showing most of the initial batch of patients diagnosed with coronavirus were recovering from the disease.TOKYO — Japan’s Health Ministry said on Thursday it was encouraged by data showing most of the initial batch of patients diagnosed with coronavirus were recovering from the disease.
Out of 22 patients whose condition was listed on the ministry website, four have not developed symptoms, two are cured, seven are on the mend, five in stable condition and only four defined as “under treatment.”Out of 22 patients whose condition was listed on the ministry website, four have not developed symptoms, two are cured, seven are on the mend, five in stable condition and only four defined as “under treatment.”
So far in Japan, 45 people have been confirmed as carrying the virus, including 20 passengers and crew from a quarantined cruise liner. All patients who still have the virus remain in hospital.So far in Japan, 45 people have been confirmed as carrying the virus, including 20 passengers and crew from a quarantined cruise liner. All patients who still have the virus remain in hospital.
Daigo Yamada, a section chief in the ministry’s tuberculosis and infectious diseases control division, said that while the spread of the virus is worrying, the data were “encouraging.”Daigo Yamada, a section chief in the ministry’s tuberculosis and infectious diseases control division, said that while the spread of the virus is worrying, the data were “encouraging.”
“These are the facts, and a source of relief,” he said. “And we haven’t seen cases of people seriously ill or dying.”“These are the facts, and a source of relief,” he said. “And we haven’t seen cases of people seriously ill or dying.”
The figures coming from Japan support the idea that the virus may be more contagious than previously believed and very difficult to control, but less deadly than first believed and much less deadly than severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which left hundreds dead across Asia in 2002-2003.The figures coming from Japan support the idea that the virus may be more contagious than previously believed and very difficult to control, but less deadly than first believed and much less deadly than severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which left hundreds dead across Asia in 2002-2003.
TOKYO — An auto factory in China said on Thursday it is converting one of its plants to make face masks, to combat the growing shortage as the novel coronavirus continues to spread.TOKYO — An auto factory in China said on Thursday it is converting one of its plants to make face masks, to combat the growing shortage as the novel coronavirus continues to spread.
SAIC-GM-Wuling, a joint venture between General Motors and two Chinese carmakers, said it would set up 14 production lines in the city of Liuzhou in Guangxi province to make masks in a dust-free environment.SAIC-GM-Wuling, a joint venture between General Motors and two Chinese carmakers, said it would set up 14 production lines in the city of Liuzhou in Guangxi province to make masks in a dust-free environment.
Four of the production lines will produce the N95 masks — which are believed to be more effective against virus-borne diseases but more difficult to breathe through — and 10 will produce general medical protective masks, the company said in a statement.Four of the production lines will produce the N95 masks — which are believed to be more effective against virus-borne diseases but more difficult to breathe through — and 10 will produce general medical protective masks, the company said in a statement.
Production is expected to start this month and reach 1.7 million masks a day, to help to alleviate the shortage in Guangxi, the company said.Production is expected to start this month and reach 1.7 million masks a day, to help to alleviate the shortage in Guangxi, the company said.
Masks are in extremely short supply all over China, with some cities introducing rationing or even lotteries to distribute limited inventory.Masks are in extremely short supply all over China, with some cities introducing rationing or even lotteries to distribute limited inventory.
So intense is the shortage that the city of Dali in the southwestern province of Yunnan appropriated a delivery of nine parcels of masks from a supplier in the province that were intended for the megacity of Chongqing, where the shortage is acute.So intense is the shortage that the city of Dali in the southwestern province of Yunnan appropriated a delivery of nine parcels of masks from a supplier in the province that were intended for the megacity of Chongqing, where the shortage is acute.
When a Chongqing new coronavirus epidemic prevention and control group wrote to Dali to ask for the masks, Dali’s Health Commission responded that the masks had already been distributed and could not be given back, the Economic Observer reported.When a Chongqing new coronavirus epidemic prevention and control group wrote to Dali to ask for the masks, Dali’s Health Commission responded that the masks had already been distributed and could not be given back, the Economic Observer reported.
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