- New virus has infected more than 20,600 globally
- 27 documented cases of person-to-person spread of corona virus in 9 countries outside China
- Virus death toll rises to 490 in China
- Number of coronavirus infections already surpassed the total from the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic
- WHO declares coronavirus a global health emergency
- Coronavirus outbreak like began with bats, say experts
A viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 24,500 people globally. This is what we know so far about the pandemic. Follow our live updates here.
At least 10 on Japan cruise ship have coronavirus
At least 10 passengers on a cruise ship that Japan quarantined tested positive for the new coronavirus, public broadcaster NHK and other Japanese media reported on Wednesday, citing the health ministry.
Japan has quarantined the vessel carrying 3,711 people and was testing those onboard for the virus after a former passenger was diagnosed with the illness in Hong Kong.
China virus death toll rises to 490
The number of confirmed deaths from China's coronavirus outbreak rose to at least 490, after authorities in Hubei province reported 65 new fatalities Wednesday.
In its daily update, figures from the health commission in Hubei, which has been hit hardest by the virus, also showed a jump in confirmed infections with 3,156 new cases.
Documented: 27 cases of person-to-person spread, says WHO
There had been 27 cases of person-to-person spread of the coronavirus documented in nine (9) countries outside of China, according to WHO officials on Tuesday.
2,421 people in Kerala under observation, including 100 in quarantine
In wake of coronavirus outbreak, a total of 2,421 people in Kerala have been put under observation, including 100 people in quarantine facilities, state Health Minister KK Shailaja said here on Tuesday.
Quarantine is a restriction on the movement of people. The minister said that people who have returned from China should not go out of their homes for 28 days.
On Monday, Shailaja said the state government has declared coronavirus as a state disaster. "Kerala today (Monday) declared the novel coronavirus as a state disaster. We want to strengthen our surveillance system and precautionary measures," she said.
Britain tells its citizens to leave China if they can
Britain told its citizens on Tuesday to leave China if they could after airlines suspended flights, making it increasingly difficult to get out.
In an update to its travel advice, the Foreign Office also said some staff and dependants from the British Embassy and consulates were being withdrawn from China. Essential staff, such as those providing consular assistance, would remain.
China: 425 deaths and 20,438 confirmed cases on the mainland. In addition, Hong Kong has had 17 cases, including one death. Macao has had 10 cases. Most of the deaths have been in central Hubei province, where illnesses from the new type of coronavirus were first detected in December.
South Korea: 16
United States: 11
United Arab Emirates: 5
Philippines: 2 cases, including 1 death
Sri Lanka: 1
South Korean 'mask hoarders' threatened with jail
South Korean traders who hoard face masks and other products used to battle the coronavirus outbreak will face up to two years in prison, the government announced Tuesday.
Concern about the spread of the virus is growing in South Korea, where 16 cases have been identified so far.
Demand for face masks and hand sanitisers has surged, the ministry of economy and finance said, leading to a "sharp increase in prices" due to "hoarding".
The two items were added to a list of designated products, it said.
From Wednesday, sellers who hoard more than one and a half times their average monthly sales volume will face a maximum sentence of two years in prison or a fine of up to 50 million won ($42,000).
South Korea has so far seen at least four cases of human-to-human transmission of the virus, while a hospitalised Chinese tour guide is believed to have caught the illness while working in Japan.
On Tuesday, a Korean woman who recently visited Thailand became its 16th confirmed case.
Hong Kong virus patient dies as local transmissions increase
Hong Kong on Tuesday became the second place outside mainland China to report the death of a coronavirus patient as officials said they feared local transmissions were increasing in the densely populated city.
The coronavirus has killed more than 425 people in China since spreading from the central city of Wuhan late last year.
It has also spread to more than 25 countries.
Most of the deaths in China have been in Wuhan and the rest of surrounding Hubei province, much of which has been under lockdown for almost two weeks.
But on Tuesday Hong Kong medics confirmed a 39-year-old man being treated for the virus had died.
He was a Hong Kong resident who had travelled last month to Wuhan, returning home on January 23 via a high-speed rail link.
Officials said the man also had diabetes, but had been in stable until his condition suddenly deteriorated.
They said the precise cause of death was unclear and would be passed to the coroner.
Singapore announces first local coronavirus transmissions
Singapore on Tuesday announced the first local transmissions of the deadly coronavirus from China.
The Ministry of Health said it had found six additional cases, four of them involving human-to-human transmission in Singapore, bringing the total infections to 24 in the city-state.
"Though four of these cases constitute a local transmission cluster, there is as yet no evidence of widespread sustained community transmission in Singapore," the ministry said in a statement.
Air India to suspend flights to Hong Kong
India's national passenger carrier Air India on Tuesday said that it will suspend flight services to Hong Kong owing to the outbreak of deadly coronavirus.
The suspension will come into force from Friday until March 28, the airline said in a statement.
Earlier, Air India had cancelled its flight to Shanghai from January 31 to February 14.
In terms of scheduled operations, Air India operates flights to Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Additionally, international major airlines have either reduced or suspended their operations to China.
European aviation agency EASA has also issued a set of precautions for airlines operating to and from China.
Also on Tuesday, Hong reported its first coronavirus death, making it the third country after China and the Philippines to report fatalities.
China's death toll has increased to 425, with 20,438 confirmed cases.
One suspected coronavirus case quarantined in Karnataka's Hubli
A man, who returned from China, was admitted to the Karnataka Institute of Medical Science Hospital here on Monday after he complained of fever, cough, weakness and headache.
Sandip Kelsangad, 39, returned from China on January 18. District health officials have sent his blood sample to Pune and are waiting for the report.
"He is under observation and is stable. We sent his sample to Pune," said Ramlingappa Anteratani, Director, KIMS Hubli.
Earlier, the Department of Health and Family Welfare Services State Surveillance Unit stated that 51 travellers from coronavirus affected countries have been identified and 46 are under home isolation. Four passengers have left India and one is admitted to a selected isolation hospital.
Chinese cities locked down far from virus epicentre
Two more cities in China's eastern province of Zhejiang have restricted the movement of residents over fears of the spread of the coronavirus, far from the epicentre of the health emergency.
The city of Taizhou and three Hangzhou districts - including the area home to the main office of Chinese tech giant Alibaba - will only allow one person per household to go outside every two days to buy necessities, city officials said.
The areas between them account for more than nine million people.
Wuhan to convert gym, exhibition centre into temporary hospitals
The Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak, has planned to convert three existing venues, including a gymnasium and an exhibition centre, into hospitals to receive more patients as the death toll in the Asian giant due to the disease increased to 425.
The Hongshan Gymnasium, Wuhan International Conference and Exhibition Centre and a cultural building complex dubbed "Wuhan Livingroom" will be turned into hospitals with a total of 3,400 beds, Xinhua news agency reported citing officials as saying.
The sites, located in the districts of Jianghan, Wuchang and Dongxihu, will take in patients with mild symptoms caused by the coronavirus.
The hospitals will serve as temporary medical sites with functions of emergency treatment and clinical testing.
Conversion work started late Monday, and by Tuesday morning, hundreds of beds were already in place, the officials said.
Meanwhile, the newly-built Huoshenshan hospital, one of two planned makeshift hospitals in Wuhan, began accepting patients on Tuesday.
Chinese woman detained for hiding virus contact
Police in China have detained a woman for "deliberately concealing" her contact with someone from an area stricken by the coronavirus and jeopardising efforts to stop its spread, the Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.
China has imposed sweeping measures to try to halt the virus including virtually locking down the central province of Hubei, where the virus emerged in December, and asking anyone who has visited there to isolate themselves for 14 days.
The death toll in China from the newly identified virus has risen to 425 with more than 20,000 cases of infection, authorities reported.
The detained woman, a 36-year-old identified by her surname, Liu, had hurt virus prevention and control work through her action and public security authorities in the northern municipality of Tianjin took her into custody for "administrative detention".
The state news agency gave no details of what she had done or say if or when she would be released.
Authorities in some places have threatened dire punishment for anyone violating the law in connection with efforts to battle the virus.
A high court in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang said people who intentionally spread the virus could face the death penalty, according to a Jan. 31 court notice.
Police in Qinghai province in the northwest were investigating a man infected with the virus who "severely disrupted virus containment and harmed public health", Xinhua reported, without elaborating.
Man dies in Hong Kong's first Coronavirus fatality
A 39-year-old man in Hong Kong who was being treated for the novel coronavirus has died, medical authorities confirmed Tuesday, the first fatality connected to the illness in the financial hub and only the second outside of mainland China.
A spokesman for the Hospital Authority said the victim was a resident of Hong Kong who travelled to the Chinese city of Wuhan - the epicentre of the outbreak - on January 21 and who returned to the financial hub two days later.
China virus death toll rises to 425
The number of confirmed deaths from China's coronavirus outbreak spiked to 425, after authorities in Hubei province reported 64 new fatalities Tuesday.
In its daily update, figures from the health commission in Hubei, which has been hit hardest by the virus, also showed a sharp increase in confirmed infections with 2,345 new cases out of a total of 3,235 across the country.
That puts the national total at 20,438, based on numbers previously issued by the central government.
The epidemic, which has spiralled into a global health emergency, is believed to have emerged in December from a market that sold wild game in the Hubei provincial capital Wuhan.
There are now cases reported in more than 20 countries.
There has been one death outside China, in the Philippines.
China admits 'shortcomings' in virus response
Beijing: China’s top leadership on Monday admitted “shortcomings and difficulties” in its response to the coronavirus outbreak, as state media said a new hospital built at breakneck pace began receiving patients in the epicentre of the crisis.
China’s elite Politburo Standing Committee called for improvements to the “national emergency management system” following “shortcoming and difficulties exposed in the response to the epidemic,” according to the official Xinhua news agency.
“It is necessary to strengthen market supervision, resolutely ban and severely crack down on illegal wildlife markets and trade,” it added.
Pakistanis return from coronavirus-hit China
As many as 97 Pakistanis including 40 students arrived here on Monday following the resumption of flight operations to China where a new strain of coronavirus has killed 361 people, reported Pakistani media.
The first - a Qatar Airlines flight - arrived from Doha, carrying 40 students, while the second flight - a China Southern Airlines flight CZ6007 - brought 69 passengers, including 57 Pakistanis and 12 Chinese, Dawn reported.
"At Islamabad airport this morning - received passengers from China along with HE Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan. CZ6007 brought 69 passengers including 57 Pakistanis and 12 Chinese. We supervised the implementation of 'Airport SOPs' and I interviewed passengers," Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health tweeted.
The flights carried a group of Pakistani students stranded in the Chinese city of Urumqi following the suspension of flight operations to the country amid the outbreak of coronavirus. They were earlier granted an 11-day visa extension by Chinese authorities.
Pakistan resumes flights to virus-hit China
Airlines in Pakistan resumed flights to and from China Monday after health authorities said they were confident they had systems in place to keep the deadly coronavirus out of the country.
The move comes as dozens of global airlines are halting flight services with China, and governments are increasingly barring entry to anyone who has recently visited the country.
China 'urgently needs' medical gear and masks as virus toll tops SARS
China said Monday it urgently needed medical equipment and surgical masks as the death toll from a new coronavirus jumped above 360, making it more deadly than the SARS crisis nearly two decades ago.
The 57 new deaths confirmed Monday was the single-biggest daily increase since the virus was detected late last year in the central city of Wuhan, where it is believed to have jumped from animals at a market into humans.
The virus has since spread to more than 24 countries despite many governments imposing unprecedented travel bans on arrivals coming from China.
The World Health Organization has declared the crisis a global health emergency, and the first foreign death from the virus was confirmed in the Philippines on Sunday.
"What China urgently needs at present are medical masks, protective suits, and safety goggles," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press briefing.
Authorities in provinces that are home to more than 300 million people - including Guangdong, the country's most populous - have ordered everyone to wear masks in public in an effort to contain the virus.
But factories capable of producing around 20 million masks a day are only operating at between 60 and 70 percent of capacity, industry department spokesman Tian Yulong said, adding that supply and demand remained in "tight equilibrium" as a result of the Lunar New Year break.
Tian said authorities were taking steps to bring in masks from Europe, Japan and the US, while the foreign ministry said countries including South Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan and Hungary had donated medical supplies.
All but one of the 57 new deaths reported Monday were in Wuhan and the rest of Hubei province, most of which has been under lockdown for almost two weeks.
The national death toll reached 361 - exceeding the 349 mainland fatalities from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2002-03.
The number of infections also jumped significantly, passing 17,200.
SARS, caused by a pathogen similar to the new coronavirus and also originated in China, killed 774 people - with most other deaths in Hong Kong.
Thais claim new drug treating coronavirus 'successful'
A Chinese woman who tested positive for the deadly new coronavirus (nCoV) has been successfully treated by the doctors in Thailand with a combination drug used in HIV and flu, the Health Ministry here said.
Kriangsak Atipornwanich, a doctor at Rajavithi Hospital in the Thai capital treated a 71-year-old female patient. Atipornwanich said the patient had previously been treated with only anti-HIV drugs.
The doctors combined the anti-flu drug -- oseltamivir, with lopinavir and ritonavir -- anti-virals used to treat HIV, Atipornwanich said.
The ministry was awaiting research results to prove the findings, according to a CNN report.
"I had treated a patient with severe condition, and the result has been very satisfactory. The patient's condition has improved very quickly within 48 hours. And the test result has also changed from being positive into negative within 48 hours," Atipornwanich was quoted as saying by CNN on Sunday.
Stocks hover near 7-week lows
A gauge of global stocks hovered near seven-week lows on Monday as Asian stocks plunged on their first trading day after a long break, amid fears the coronavirus epidemic would hit Chinese demand.
Markets elsewhere showed signs of rebounding, however, after a selloff last week that pushed global stocks into negative territory for the year.
Shares opened higher in Europe on relief that the UK had finally exited the European Union, although fears about the coronavirus kept buying in check.
Futures for US stocks were higher and oil pared early losses, while the safe-haven Japanese yen and gold stepped back from recent highs.
Aiming to head off any panic, China's government took steps to shore up an economy hit by travel curbs and business shut-downs.
Philippines: 80 suspected coronavirus patients, 10 negative cases sent home
MANILA, Philippines: Eighty (80) individuals are now considered as patients under investigation (PUIs) for suspected infection of the novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease or 2019-nCoV ARD, the Department of Health (DOH) stated on Monday.
“We have 80 patients under investigation or PUIs for nCoV acute respiratory disease,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a press briefing on Monday.
Of the 80 patients, health authorities said 67 were placed in isolation in hospitals while 10 have already been sent home as they were found to be negative for the deadly virus.
According to Duque, included in the PUI count was the 29-year-old Chinese national from Yunnan, initially placed under observation for suspected 2019-nCoV ARD but died January 29 due to pneumonia. He was found negative for the new coronavirus. He, however, allegedly had HIV, said officials.
Duque also said the PUI tally included the 38-year-old Chinese woman, tagged as the Philippines’ first 2019-nCoV case, and her partner, the 44-year-old Chinese man, who was also found positive for the new coronavirus and died on February 1 after contracting severe pneumonia while confined at the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila.
He became the country’s second novel coronavirus case and first 2019-nCoV death in the Philippines and outside China. The couple came from Wuhan – the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak – and arrived in the Philippines on January 21, said officials.
Cruise ships to ban recent China visitors: global industry body
Cruise lines worldwide will deny boarding to passengers and crew who have recently travelled to China, a global industry body said Monday, as fears grow over the deadly new coronavirus.
In a statement, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said its members were taking extra precautions to prevent an outbreak of the virus on board cruise ships, where infections can spread rapidly.
"CLIA Members have suspended crew movements from mainland China and will deny boarding to any individual, whether guest or crew, who has travelled from or through mainland China within the previous 14 days," the body's Hamburg office said.
CLIA represents some of the world's largest and best-known cruise lines, including TUI, AIDA, MSC, Costa, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruises.
The cruise companies were also carrying out careful screening of passengers and crew before boarding, and changing itineraries where necessary, CLIA said.
The industry body added that cruise ships were well equipped to deal with health emergencies.
"The cruise industry is one of the most well-equipped and experienced when it comes to managing and monitoring health conditions of passengers and crew," the statement said.
All ships are fitted with medical facilities and have medical professionals "available around the clock", it added.
China says 'urgently needs' medical masks to tackle virus
China said Monday it "urgently needs" protective medical equipment as the death toll in the country from a highly contagious coronavirus passed that of the 2002 SARS crisis, with more than 17,000 infected.
"What China urgently needs at present are medical masks, protective suits, and safety goggles," the foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a press briefing.
Two Andhra youths stranded in China appeal for evacuation
Two youngsters from Andhra Pradesh including a 22-year-old woman, who is due to be married this month, are stranded in coronavirus-hit China and have appealed to the government to evacuate them.
Annem Naga Jyothi and Satya Sai Krishna, stranded in the worst affected Chinese city of Wuhan, were not allowed to board the second Air India flight that brought over 323 Indians back on Sunday as they were running high temperature.
Jyothi, who hails from Kurnool district and is due to be married on February 14, made an appeal to the Indian government through a video that went viral on the social media.
Jyothi and Krishna were among the 58 trainee engineers of Panel Optodisplay Technology Private Limited (POTPL). Barring the two, all others have returned to India.
Currently lodged in a dormitory provided by POPTL, the youngsters are waiting for help from the Indian government.
"We were supposed to take the first flight but were stopped from doing so in the last minute as were having high body temperature. When we were preparing to board the second flight, we were informed that we could not be taken on this flight either," she said.
She said the Chinese authorities did not confirm that they were affected by coronavirus. "Our body temperature is normal now. I am very healthy. Please take me back to India," said Jyothi, daughter of a retired military officer Maheswara Reddy, who passed away in 2014.
She said they are willing to be tested to show that they have no symptoms.
Jyothi's family in Kurnool is worried over her well-being. Her mother Prameela said the government should immediately do something to bring her back as she was left alone in China. She believes that Jyothi got the fever due to stress.
China says US reaction to virus spreads 'panic'
China accused the United States on Monday of spreading "panic" in its response to the deadly coronavirus, including by imposing a ban on Chinese travellers.
The US "hasn't provided any substantial assistance" and has only created "panic", said foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a regular press briefing.
Third case confirmed in Kerala
A third case of coronavirus in India has been reported again from Kerala. State Health Minister KK Shailaja confirmed the news on Monday.
"Third case of coronavirus tested positive in Kerala in Kasargod," said Shailaja in a statement.
Earlier on Sunday, the second case of coronavirus in the country was reported from Kerala. The patient is being monitored in an isolation ward in Alappuzha Medical College.
The patient who first tested positive for coronavirus is currently hospitalised in Thrissur Medical College and her condition is stable.
Coronavirus death toll in China exceeds that of SARS
China's death toll from a new coronavirus jumped above 360 on Monday to surpass the number of fatalities of its SARS crisis two decades ago, with dozens of people dying in the epicentre's quarantined ground-zero.
The 57 confirmed new deaths was the single-biggest increase since the virus was detected late last year in the central city of Wuhan, where it is believed to have jumped from animals at a market into humans.
The virus has since spread to more than 24 countries, despite many governments imposing unprecedented travel bans on people coming from China.
The World Health Organization has declared the crisis a global health emergency, and the first foreign death from the virus was reported in the Philippines on Sunday.
In China, all but one of the 57 new deaths were reported Monday in Wuhan and the rest of Hubei province, most of which has been under lockdown for almost two weeks to stop people leaving and transmitting the virus.
The national death toll reached 361, exceeding the 349 mainland fatalities from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2002-03.
US confirms 11th case of new coronavirus
California health officials said on Sunday they had confirmed 11 cases of the new, fast-spreading coronavirus in the United States, with one in Santa Clara County and two more in San Benito County.
After 8-day construction, China virus hospital to receive patients
Built in just eight days, a Chinese hospital dedicated to treat people infected with a new coronavirus in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, will begin to receive patients on Monday, state media said.
The hospital, Huoshenshan, or "fire-god mountain", is designed to have 1,000 beds for patients with confirmed infections to ease a shortage of beds elsewhere in the city as the virus spreads.
China virus toll rises to 361 with 57 new fatalities
The total number of infections in China's coronavirus outbreak has passed 17,200 nationwide with 2,829 new cases confirmed, the National Health Commission said on Monday.
In its daily update, the commission said there had been 57 new deaths from the virus - all in hardest-hit Hubei province except one, bringing the national toll to 361.
France evacuees show symptoms of virus
Aix-en-Provence, France: Around 20 of the 250 people flown back to France from China Sunday because of the coronavirus outbreak are presenting symptoms of the virus, the country’s health minister said.
“About 20 people who presented symptoms have stayed on the tarmac” at Istres airport in the south of France, Agnes Buzyn told journalists. They included French and non-European nationals.
Burj Khalifa lights up to show support for China
More Europeans flee China as plane lands in French military base
A second French-chartered plane carrying 300 evacuees from China flew to France on Sunday as more foreigners fled China's rapidly developing virus. The Airbus A380 landed at the military base of Istres in the southern French region of Bouches-du-Rhone. A first French plane landed Friday.
Officials said that when this latest flight left the central Chinese city of Wuhan, none of the passengers had symptoms of coronavirus. They include French, Belgians, Dutch, Danes, Czechs, Slovaks and some citizens of African countries.
Authorities said the plane would drop off most of its passengers at Istres before leaving for Belgium with several dozen people from northern Europe. Authorities haven't said if the travelers arriving at Istres will be put into quarantine.
Oman suspends all flights to and from China
Oman's national news agency announced on Sunday that all civilian flights between Oman and the People's Republic of China have been suspended until further notice.
The decision, the agency reported, was undertaken in collaboration with the Ministry of Health in Oman in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
More Europeans flee China, chartered plane lands in French military base
The Airbus A380 landed at the military base of Istres in the southern French region of Bouches-du-Rhone. A first French plane landed Friday.
Officials said that when this latest flight left the central Chinese city of Wuhan, none of the passengers had symptoms of coronavirus. They include French, Belgians, Dutch, Danes, Czechs, Slovaks and some citizens of African countries.
Authorities said the plane would drop off most of its passengers at Istres before leaving for Belgium with several dozen people from northern Europe. Authorities haven't said if the travelers arriving at Istres will be put into quarantine.
Chinese army to oversee virus hospital
China's army on Sunday was given control of a nearly-finished field hospital that will treat patients at the epicentre of a deadly virus epidemic that has severely strained medical facilities.
Some 1,400 military medics will treat patients at the 1,000-bed hospital, dubbed "Fire God Mountain", which will receive its first patients on Monday - just 10 days after construction began, according to state media.
The official Xinhua news agency said many of the staff were involved in the fight against another coronavirus, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed some 650 people in mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
It is one of two makeshift medical facilities that the authorities decided to build in order to relieve hospitals swamped with patients in Wuhan, the central city at the epicentre of the national health emergency.
People in the city of 11 million people, which has been under quarantine for more than a week, have complained of waiting hours in line to see a doctor.
India temporarily suspends e-visa facilities for Chinese, foreigners residing in China
India has temporarily suspended its e-visa facility for Chinese travellers and other foreign nationals residing in the country, the Indian Embassy in Beijing said on Sunday, amid the outbreak of the new strain of coronavirus that has claimed lives of over 300 in that country alone.
"Due to certain current developments, travel to India on e-visas stands temporarily suspended with immediate effect. This applies to holders of Chinese passports and applicants of other nationalities residing in the People's Republic of China," the embassy tweeted.
Those having "compelling reasons" to visit the country have been asked to contact the Indian Embassy in Beijing, consulates in Shanghai or Guangzhou and the Indian Visa Application Centres in these cities.
Afghanistan seeks to quarantine any coronavirus cases
Afghan health authorities are establishing isolation wards across the country ahead of a potential influx of coronavirus cases, an official said Sunday, as governments worldwide monitor the disease's spread.
No cases have been recorded in Afghanistan so far, and the war-torn country's health services have set up screening units at airports and borders, public health minister Ferozuddin Feroz said.
"We have put serious measures in place," Feroz told reporters. He said that in Kabul, authorities have created a 100-bed isolation ward, and another 200 or so beds will be made available across the country in Afghanistan's creaking hospitals.
Feroz said 262 people — including 233 Afghans — who flew into Kabul's airport from China during the past week had all been screened, and health officials have remained in contact with them to check on their health. About 40 Afghan students are currently in Wuhan.
China Central Bank to supply $174 billion for virus-hit markets
China's central bank and other regulators announced a slew of targeted measures aimed at helping companies, banks and individuals hurt by the viral pneumonia outbreak.
The central bank will supply 1.2 trillion yuan ($174 billion) to money markets on Monday, according to a statement on Sunday. The money will be supplied using reverse repurchase agreements to ensure liquidity is "reasonably ample" during the outbreak, according to the People's Bank of China announcement, which did not say the tenor of the agreements.
That announcement follows a a joint statement with other ministries and financial regulators on Saturday, which promised to use open market operations, the standing lending facility and other tools to ensure interbank liquidity is sufficient to keep money market rates stable
The PBOC urged banks to increase lending to the whole economy, and said it will give banks 300 billion yuan in relending to help them provide more money to a list of affected companies. Banks were told they shouldn't withdraw loans from firms affected by the virus, especially from smaller ones.
Banks should also consider rolling over loans or cutting interest rates to help affected companies, and regulators will allow those firms to delay reporting their results for 2019 and the first quarter of 2020.
The new measures follow the announcement last week that China's biggest banks will lower interest rates for firms in Hubei, the center of the outbreak.
Japan confirms three more citizens evacuated from Wuhan test positive for coronavirus
Japan confirmed an additional three cases of the new coronavirus among evacuees from the Chinese city of Wuhan, including one who initially tested negative, the health ministry said on Saturday, bringing the country's total to 20 cases.
One of the three, a man in his 40s who had symptoms such as fever and coughing, first tested negative for coronavirus, the ministry said. But the man, who was initially diagnosed with pneumonia, later confirmed positive for the virus with an additional test, it said.
A Japanese government official who was handling accommodations for returnees from Wuhan was found dead at one of the facilities, and his death seen as a possible suicide, Japanese media reported on Sunday, amid criticism of government handling of the coronavirus.
Local police confirmed the death of a man but declined to comment on details as they were still investigating.
The government plans to send another chartered plane mid-week or later to bring back Japanese nationals who are still in China's Hubei province and its capital Wuhan, where the disease is thought to have originated, the foreign ministry said on Sunday.
Japan has emailed its citizens in the province to tell them of its plan, and is negotiating with China about Chinese spouses of Japanese citizens who also wish to travel to Japan, it said.
US military ready to house 1,000 for virus quarantine
The United States military will provide accommodation for 1,000 people if they need to be quarantined because of the deadly novel coronavirus, the Department of Defense said.
Several facilities each capable of housing at least 250 people in individual rooms will be made available until February 29, the department said in a statement.
Kerala resident identified as second positive case of coronavirus in India
The second positive case of novel coronavirus disease from Kerala was confirmed on Sunday.
The patient has a history of travel to China, according to a statement by the government.
The patient is stable and is being kept in isolation in the hospital where the patient's condition is being closely monitored.
The first confirmed case of the coronavirus in India had also been reported from Kerala on January 30, as confirmed by the Union Health Ministry.
Chinese city outside virus epicentre shuts down
The eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou restricted the movement of residents and closed roads on Sunday in the most drastic steps taken by authorities outside the epicentre of a deadly virus.
Only one resident per household is allowed to go out every two days to buy necessities, authorities said in the city of nine million, while 46 highway toll stations have been closed.
Zhejiang province has the highest number of confirmed cases outside central Hubei province, with 265 in Wenzhou.
Second batch of Indians evacuated from Wuhan
An Air India special flight carrying the second batch of Indians evacuated from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan, landed in New Delhi on Sunday morning, national carrier's spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said.
The flight took off from Wuhan at 3:10 am (IST) and landed in New Delhi at 9:20 am, Kumar said.
"Second Air India special flight from Wuhan departed at 0540 hours, i.e. 0310 (IST). The flight time is six hours. It is expected to land in Delhi by 0920 hours Indian time," Kumar had said.
Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador to China, Vikram Misri tweeted on Sunday that the flight carries 323 Indian citizens on board, while 7 Maldives citizens "are also being evacuated".
"The 2nd #AirIndia flight from #Wuhan has just taken off for #Delhi with 323 Indian citizens on board. 7 Maldives citizens are also being evacuated. Grateful once again to @MFA_China and local authorities all across #Hubei for their assistance," Misri tweeted.
Meanwhile, a woman suspected to be infected with coronavirus has been admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Rishikesh.
The woman is being treated and is kept under observation. She had recently returned to the country from China's Wuhan city, the epicentre of the outbreak
China virus death toll surges past 300
The death toll from China's coronavirus epidemic soared to 304 on Sunday, as an increasing number of countries imposed extraordinary Chinese travel bans to combat the spread of the disease.
With Britain, Russia and Sweden among the countries confirming their first infections, the virus has now spread to more than two dozen nations, sending governments scurrying to limit their exposure.
The United States and Australia are leading a growing list of countries that are putting temporary but sweeping travel restrictions on Chinese nationals or those who have travelled to China within the last two weeks.
Philippines reports first virus death outside China: WHO
A 44-year-old man has died as a result of coronavirus in the Philippines, the World Health Organisation says. The Wuhan resident who travelled to the Philippines is the first known person to have died outside China from the virus.
The World Health Organization said a 44-year-old male, a known resident of Wuhan, experienced fever, cough and a sore throat before being admitted to San Lazaro Hospital in Manila. He died on Feb. 1.
He was the second confirmed case of the virus in the Philippines and was a close contact of the first infection in the country, also a Wuhan resident.
The Philippines will temporarily ban all travelers except for its citizens and permanent residents arriving from China, Hong Kong and Macau from entering.
328 patients recovered from coronavirus discharged in China
A total of 328 patients infected with coronavirus had been discharged from hospital after recovery by the end of Saturday, Chinese health authorities announced on Sunday.
Saturday saw 85 people walk out of the hospital after recovery (49 in Hubei), the National Health Commission (NHC) said in its daily report, Xinhua news agency reported.
Coronavirus evacuees arrive in Germany from China
A plane carrying German and foreign nationals evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, landed in Germany on Saturday, an AFP reporter said.
The plane carrying 100 German citizens and 24 foreign nationals - mainly Chinese - landed at Frankfurt Airport around 1540 GMT after being delayed when Russia refused to let it land and refuel.
The Moscow airport claimed it had a "lack of capacity" and the Airbus A310 jet was forced to stop in Helsinki instead.
After touching down and being evaluated at a medical facility at Frankfurt airport, 11 of the evacuees were transferred to hospital with various medical problems, regional Social Affairs Minister Kai Klose told reporters.
Doctors were able to exclude a coronavirus infection in all but one case, the minister added.
After evaluation, all the other passengers were taken under police escort to a military base at Germersheim, 120 kilometres (75 miles) from Frankfurt, where they are due to be quarantined for two weeks.
Those evacuated included 100 German nationals. 22 Chinese, an American and a Romanian.
Meanwhile Bavaria's health minister said on Saturday an eighth person had been confirmed with the virus in Germany, a 33-year-old man from Munich.
The patients are all in the southern Bavaria region and comprise seven employees of car parts supplier Webasto and a daughter of one of the workers.
US confirms 8th case of coronavirus, quarantine in effect
Washington: US health officials on Saturday confirmed an eighth case of the fast-spreading new coronavirus in the US in a person who had travelled to China.
The latest US patient, who was not identified, is in Massachusetts, a spokeswoman for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in an emailed statement.
The person recently returned from Hubei province in central China, the epicentre of the outbreak. No other details were provided.
The flu-like coronavirus, which is believed to have originated in a market that traded illegally in wildlife in Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei, has so far resulted in 259 deaths in China, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Saturday.
Hong Kong medical workers vote to strike as outbreak worsens
Thousands of Hong Kong medical professionals voted to begin a five-day strike Monday after the government refused their demand to shut all entry points from China amid a deadly virus outbreak on the mainland.
The Hospital Authority Employees Alliance said there were about 99% of "Yes" votes cast by its members on Saturday. More than 9,000 members have pledged to take part, first in suspending non-emergency services offered by the city's Hospital Authority before extending it to providing only limited emergency needs, it said.
Hong Kong authorities have resisted pressure from some groups to shut all its borders with China, where the deadly outbreak has killed 259 people and infected more than 11,000 others. Hong Kong has at least 13 confirmed cases of the new strain of coronavirus.
The government has extended school holidays and suspended residents of China's Hubei province, where the outbreak is centered, from entering the city.
'75,000 infected with Coronavirus in Wuhan': Research
PARIS (AFP/Agencies): An estimated 75,815 people in Wuhan, China could be infected with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) as of January 25, researchers in Hong Kong said on Friday (January 31, 2020).
Wuhan is the ground zero of a global health emergency triggered by a SARS-like viral outbreak traced to bats.
“We estimate that 75,815 individuals have been infected in Wuhan as of Jan 25, 2020,” a team led by Gabriel Leung from the University of Hong Kong reported in The Lancet.
As of January 31, the Chinese government said the number of confirmed cases had risen to almost 12,000 for all of China, including 257 deaths.
For Hubei province — including Wuhan, a city in central China of 11 million — the official figure was nearly 6,000 confirmed cases and just over 200 deaths.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday declared the outbreak a global health emergency, but said it was not recommending any international trade or travel restrictions.
“The apparent discrepancy between our modelled estimates of 2019-nCoV infections and the actual number of confirmed cases in Wuhan could be due to several factors,” Leung said in a statement.
China's Premier asks EU to facilitate urgent procurement of medical supplies
BEIJING: China's Premier Li Keqiang has asked the European Union to facilitate China's urgent procurement of medical supplies from member countries, the Chinese government said on Saturday, amid the coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 250 people and infected over 12,000, based on official count.
China's finance ministry, meanwhile, said on Saturday it will implement tax exemptions for imports of products related to curbing the virus outbreak.
Vietnam says suspending all China flights over coronavirus
Vietnam has suspended all China flights as part of "strengthening measures" against the coronavirus outbreak, its civil aviation authority said in a statement on Saturday.
The directive applies to all airlines "which have routes between Vietnam and China", it added.
China flies citizens home to virus-hit Wuhan
China has flown two planeloads of its citizens back home to Hubei, the locked-down province at the centre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak where they were greeted by authorities in full-body protective suits.
A Xiamen Airlines charter flight from Bangkok touched down late Friday in the provincial capital Wuhan, where the infection is believed to have originated in a market that sold wild animals.
Health authorities in white, full-body protective gear stood by the cabin door as the plane's 73 passengers disembarked, smiling through face masks and waving to news photographers.
A second Xiamen flight landed soon afterwards carrying Hubei residents from Kota Kinabalu, a popular coastal tourist destination in Malaysia.
China's foreign ministry said earlier on Friday that the country would bring Wuhan residents back from overseas "as soon as possible" due to "the practical difficulties that Chinese citizens from Hubei, especially Wuhan, have faced overseas".
The move came after a more than 30 airlines worldwide announced they were halting or reducing flights to China as the country struggles to contain the spread of the epidemic.
China's aviation agency had said there were 117 nationals from Hubei province in Bangkok and 100 in Kota Kinabalu who are "willing to take the chartered flights back to Wuhan as soon as possible".
This was despite the fact that Wuhan and surrounding cities have been locked down by authorities for more than a week, effectively trapping more than 50 million people in their homes after a near-blanket transport ban.
Nearly all of the 259 people killed in the outbreak so far were in Hubei.
Hospitals have been overwhelmed in Wuhan. AFP reporters saw long queues, with some patients saying they lined up for two days to see a doctor.
The charter flights prompted a flurry of discussion on Chinese social media.
"These people probably don't want to go back," said one, while another questioned if residents should be returned to Hubei if they were not infected.
Australia to refuse entry to non-citizens arriving from China: PM
The Australian government on Saturday said it would bar non-citizens arriving from China from entering the country under new measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said only "Australian citizens, Australian residents, dependents, legal guardians or spouses" would be permitted into the country from China from Saturday.
"The arrangements are being put in place through our border authorities to ensure that that can be actioned," he added. "Those that do return will be required to go into self isolation for 14 days."
Australia's foreign ministry also updated its travel advice for China to "do not travel".
Qantas and Air NZ suspend China flights due to coronavirus curbs
Qantas Airways and Air New Zealand said on Saturday they were suspending direct flights from their countries to mainland China in response to travel restrictions imposed in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
The Australian national carrier's direct flights from Sydney to Beijing and Sydney to Shanghai will be halted from Feb. 9 until March 29, it said in a statement published Saturday.
Air New Zealand said its Auckland to Shanghai service would be paused during the same time as the Qantas flights.
Qantas said flights from Australia to Hong Kong would not be impacted by the change, it said, as it also warned the February 9 date would be reviewed and could be brought forward depending on demand from customers.
The decision was made after Singapore and the United States on Friday announced toughened measures to enter their countries for people who had recently travelled through mainland China, Qantas added.
"These entry restrictions pose significant logistical challenges for rostering crew to operate mainland services, leading to the need to temporarily suspend these flights," the airline said.
Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Standards Officer Captain David Morgan said the decision was made as a result of the travel restrictions and a decline in forward bookings for the next two months.
Qantas had previously flagged its Sydney to Beijing route, which was flown five days a week, would end on February 23 but that date will now brought forward to February 9.
The two airlines join an increasing number of international airlines which are cancelling or severely reducing the number of flights to mainland China as a result of coronavirus.
American Airlines on Friday announced cancellations to Beijing and Shanghai starting immediately and running through March 27, though it will continue to fly to Hong Kong.
United and Delta's last flights out of mainland China will be Feb. 5, with cancellations running through March 28 and April 30 respectively.
The decision of the American carriers followed moves by Air France KLM SA, British Airways, Germany's Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic to halt flights.
Nearly 10,000 flights have been suspended since the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, according to travel and data analytics firm Cirium.
Flight from Wuhan to India lands, minus six passengers
A special Air India flight carrying 324 Indians -- who were evacuated from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan -- landed in the national capital on Saturday morning.
The Boeing 747 Jumbo aircraft had taken off from Wuhan's Tianhe International Airport in the early hours of Saturday and landed here at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi at 7:26 am.
The passengers, mostly students, will be kept in isolation for 14 days at the ITBP centre in Chhawla in the national capital upon their arrival.
The departure of the flight was delayed from Wuhan airport as immigration and Chinese authorities did not allow six Indians on board after they reported high temperatures during screening.
"Six passengers were offloaded as they had high temperatures," a passenger told ANI.
A screening camp has been set up at the Delhi Airport where they will be screened before they are put under quarantine.
China virus death toll rises to 259, infections surge to 12,000: official tally
The death toll from China's new coronavirus outbreak has risen to 259 and the tally of confirmed infections has surged to nearly 12,000, the government said on Saturday.
The National Health Commission said in its daily update that 46 more people had succumbed to the respiratory disease.
All but one of the new deaths came in hardest-hit Hubei province, the epicentre of an outbreak that has spread around the world.
The virus emerged in December in Hubei's provincial capital Wuhan, and has been traced to a meat market that sold wild game.
The number of infections in China also rose, by 2,102, bringing the nationwide total to 11,791.
That's despite unprecedented quarantine measures imposed last week on millions of people in Hubei and aggressive preventive steps elsewhere in the country.
The number of new deaths and newly confirmed cases have both spiralled higher on a daily basis since China sounded the nationwide alarm a week ago.
The top Communist Party official in Wuhan expressed "remorse" on Friday, saying local authorities acted too slowly in containing the virus.
US declares virus 'emergency', bans travellers from China
The US said Friday it was declaring a public health emergency and temporarily banning the entry of foreign nationals who had traveled to China over the past two weeks to contain the spread of a deadly new virus.
Sweeping new restrictions will also be imposed on American citizens, with those returning from the province at the disease's epicenter placed in facilities for mandatory 14-day quarantines, said Health Secretary Alex Azar.
US citizens coming from other parts of China will undergo health screening at ports of entry and then be placed under monitored self-quarantine at home.
"I have today declared that the coronavirus presents a public health emergency in the United States," said Azar during a briefing at the White House, adding the directives would take effect on February 2 from 5pm eastern time (2200 GMT).
"Foreign nationals, other than immediate family of US citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled in China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the United States for this time," he added.
The restrictions apply to people who have traveled to the designated areas in the two weeks prior to their attempted entry.
75,000 in Wuhan infected: Study estimates
More than 75,000 people — 10x the official tally of confirmed cases as of Friday — have been infected with the coronavirus in Wuhan, ground zero of a global health emergency, according to research published Friday.
"We estimate that 75,815 individuals have been infected in Wuhan as of January 25, 2020," a team led by Gabriel Leung from the University of Hong Kong reported in The Lancet.
As of January 31, the Chinese government said the number of confirmed cases had risen above 9,700 for all of China, including 213 deaths.
This number has gone up to 12,000 as of Saturday.
The World Health Organization on Thursday declared the outbreak a global health emergency, but said it was not recommending any international trade or travel restrictions.
"The apparent discrepancy between our modelled estimates of 2019-nCoV infections and the actual number of confirmed cases in Wuhan could be due to several factors," Leung said in a statement.
Timelage between infection, sympton onset
A time lag between infection and symptom onset, delays in infected persons getting medical treatment, and the time needed to confirm cases with lab tests "could all affect overall recording and reporting," he said.
The study found that each person infected with the virus, which emerged in December, could have infected two to three individuals on average, and that the epidemic had doubled in size every 6.4 days.
If the virus spreads as quickly on a national scale, "it is possible that epidemics could be already growing in multiple major Chinese cities, with a time lag of one to two weeks behind Wuhan," said co-author Joseph Wu, a professor at the University of Hong Kong.
"Large cities overseas with close transport links to China could potentially also become outbreak epicentres."
If the new estimate of cases is accurate, it would mean that the mortality rate of the 2019-nCoV virus is significantly lower than preliminary figures suggested, with well under one percent of cases proving deadly.
But a low mortality rate can still result in a large number of deaths if the virus spread widely.
Nearly 200 Americans repatriated from China
Nearly 200 Americans were placed under quarantine after being evacuated from Wuhan, China, to a U.S. air base in California, U.S. health officials said on Friday, hoping to prevent the spread of coronavirus that originated in that city.
"We are preparing as if this is the next pandemic, but we are hoping that is not the case," said Nancy Messonnier, director of National Center For Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in a telephone interview from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
The CDC announced the 14-day quarantine order, which applies to 195 repatriated individuals, a day after the U.S. State Department issued its strongest warning against travel to China due to an epidemic of the new virus, which has claimed more than 200 lives.
Delta, American suspend all China flights
Delta Air Lines Inc and American Airlines Group Inc decided on Friday to temporarily suspend all remaining U.S.-China flights after the U.S. State Department elevated a travel advisory over concerns about the coronavirus.
U.S. officials were due to hold a call with airlines later on Friday to discuss the Chinese flights. Some airline officials worried that if they did not voluntarily halt flights it would prompt the Trump administration to take formal action, potentially complicating any subsequent flight resumption.
The United States told citizens on Thursday not to travel to China due to the epidemic that has infected nearly 10,000 people and been declared a global emergency.
Pilots and flight attendants have been demanding airlines stop flights to the country, with American Airlines' pilots filing a lawsuit on Thursday seeking an immediate halt.
"The decision to file a lawsuit was made out of concern for the safety of our pilots," said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association which represents American's pilots.
Etihad suspends Nagoya - Beijing service
Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways has temporarily suspended its service between Beijing, China, and Nagoya, Japan, due to low travel demand in the wake of the coronavirus, it was announced on Friday.
A statement from the airline, said, “In response to the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, and the overnight announcement by the World Health Organisation that the outbreak has now been upgraded to a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern”, Etihad Airways continues to work closely with, and follow the directions of key stakeholders in China and Abu Dhabi to help prevent the spread of the virus. Read full statement
German coronavirus cases climb to six
A new coronavirus that is spreading around the world has been confirmed in a child in Germany, the southern state of Bavaria said on Friday, bringing the total number of known cases in Germany to six.
The new case is a child of an employee at the same firm where four more individuals in the Munich area were infected, the state health ministry said in a statement.
All affected persons are in stable condition, the ministry said.
Myanmar sends back China plane
Myanmar on Friday sent a plane back to China with most passengers still on board - including French and American citizens - after one man suspected of contracting the coronavirus was taken to hospital.
A total of 79 people were on board the China Southern Airline flight from Guangzhou, including two Americans, two French, two Myanmar, one Columbian and 72 Chinese nationals, according to airport officials.
One Chinese passenger was taken to a nearby hospital after displaying possible symptoms of the virus, said civil aviation department manager Soe Paing.
An AFP reporter saw health-workers wearing full protective gear greeting an airport ambulance.
The two Myanmar nationals were also allowed to disembark and taken to the same hospital for checks, Soe Paing added.
"The rest of the people on the flight were sent back."
An airport police officer also confirmed the passengers' return.
Russia confirms first two coronavirus cases
Two Chinese citizens have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Russia's first cases since the deadly outbreak emerged in China, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said Friday
The two cases were registered in the Zabaikalsky and Tyumen regions of Siberia, Russian news agencies reported. She also said Russia would evacuate citizens from China because of the virus.
Italy declares state of emergency over coronavirus
The Italian government declared a state of emergency Friday to fast-track efforts to prevent the spread of a deadly coronavirus strain after two cases were confirmed in Rome.
Italy had said Thursday it was stopping all flights to and from China following the news that two Chinese tourists holidaying in Italy had tested positive for the virus.
Berlin to send plane to Wuhan to evacuate citizens: minister
Berlin will send a plane to the Chinese city of Wuhan on Friday to evacuate "over 100" of its citizens from the virus-hit region, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.
"We are relieved that we are at this point," said Maas, adding that there were no confirmed or suspected infections with the novel coronavirus among the German evacuees.
The plane is expected to return to Germany on Saturday, where passengers will be held in quarantine for two weeks at a military base.
Singapore to suspend entry to travelers, including transit passengers, with recent China travel history
Singapore said on Friday it was suspending entry to travelers with a recent history of travel to China and suspending visas for Chinese passport holders, to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The ban, effective from Saturday, will exempt Singaporean residents and work permit holders, the health ministry said, adding that it also will apply to those transiting through Singapore, a busy global travel hub.
Thousands on virus lockdown at China-backed plant in Indonesia
More than 40,000 workers at a vast Chinese-controlled industrial complex in Indonesia have been quarantined over fears about the spread of a deadly coronavirus strain which has killed more than 200 people in China, it said Friday.
PT Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park has sealed off its nickel mining hub on Sulawesi island and is barring any of its 43,000 staff from entering or leaving without written permission.
There are some 5,000 guest workers from mainland China at the sprawling site which hosts nickel ore smelters and stainless steel production.
Employees at the 2,000-hectare (5,000 acre) facility, majority owned by China's Shanghai Decent Investment Group, are undergoing medical tests and none has been found to be infected so far, said company spokesman Dedy Kurniawan.
The firm has also imposed a ban on employees or guests from overseas entering the complex and installed thermal scanners at its entrance, he added.
"We have identified and screened foreign workers from Wuhan," Kurniawan told AFP on Friday.
"We also stopped accepting foreign workers."
Indonesia has not reported any confirmed infections so far.
Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, is at the centre of the outbreak which is believed to have originated in a market that sold wild animals.
The city of 11 million has since experienced an unprecedented lockdown, preventing residents from leaving in a bid to stop the deadly virus from spreading further.
The lockdown at the Indonesian plant, which started at the weekend, comes as Indonesia said Friday it was preparing to evacuate more than 240 nationals stranded in China near the epicentre of the virus within the next 24 hours.
Indonesia, a Southeast Asian archipelago, attracts more than one million Chinese tourists annually to Bali and other holiday hotspots, and also hosts thousands of guest workers from major investor China.
Two cases of coronavirus in the UK
England's chief medical officer says it has confirmed two cases of coronavirus in the UK.
Mongolia closes border to China until March 2 to stop virus
Mongolia will close all ports of entry from and into China until March 2 to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, the government said on Friday.
It will give its citizens currently in China until Feb. 6 to return home, however, though non-Chinese foreign nationals travelling to Mongolia will not be able to do so via China.
Mongolia, which is landlocked between Russia and China, has not yet reported any coronavirus cases. The government said it would work to repatriate 30 Mongolian citizens now in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.
18 South Korean evacuees hospitalised after returning from Wuhan
A total of 18 South Korean evacuees who arrived from the Chinese city of Wuhan have been hospitalised after showing symptoms, Seoul's health authorities said Friday, as concerns mount about a wider outbreak of the SARS-like virus.
A chartered plane carrying a total of 368 South Korean citizens arrived in the South from Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have emerged from an animal and seafood market, on Friday morning.
Among them, 18 evacuees who are showing symptoms have been hospitalised at two medical facilities in Seoul, the country's vice health minister Kim Gang-lip told reporters.
"The 350 people, who are asymptomatic ... will be staying at temporary facilities" located outside of Seoul for the next two weeks, he added.
"During the 14 days, residents won't be allowed to leave the facility and any visits from outsiders will be banned completely."
The announcement comes with concern growing in the South about the spread of the virus in the country, where 11 cases have been identified as of Friday afternoon.
Among the cases are three individuals who contracted the virus without travelling to China, according to Seoul's health officials.
One of them is a man in his 50s who developed symptoms after dining with the South's third confirmed patient at a restaurant in southern Seoul.
The South's second flight is scheduled to leave for Wuhan to evacuate some 300 more Korean citizens in the coming days.
The Seoul government's decision to quarantine the evacuees in Jincheon and Asan - two cities located some 85 kilometres south of Seoul, has met with fierce opposition from residents.
The country's vice health minister Kim was physically attacked earlier this week by some of the protesters when he made a visit to Jincheon, ahead of the evacuees' arrival.
As global anxiety about the new virus rises, authorities have blocked 50 million people from leaving Wuhan and nearby cities at the center of the outbreak. That in turn requires a massive effort to keep them supplied with food and other necessities.
No deaths have been reported outside China.
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on Thursday.
The United States reported its first case of person-to-person transmission. Germany, Japan, Vietnam and South Korea have also recorded similar transmissions, which suggest greater potential for the virus to spread.
Several Chinese cities have levied strict travel curbs.
The U.S. State Department told Americans in an updated travel advisory not to travel to China.
Global airlines have suspended or scaled back direct flights to China’s major cities.
Countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the United States are working to evacuate citizens from Wuhan or have already started.
A charter flight carrying 367 South Koreans from Wuhan landed in Seoul, after protests broke out against plans to use facilities in Asan and Jincheon south of the capital to quarantine the evacuees.
China will release winter and spring vegetable reserves in major northern cities to ease supply shortages amid the new coronavirus outbreak, state news agency Xinhua reported.
The Chinese Football Association said it would postpone domestic games in 2020.
The World Athletics Indoor Championships scheduled in the Chinese city of Nanjing in March have been postponed until 2021.
The coronavirus should have little impact on the U.S. economy, President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser said.
Some experts believe the virus is not as dangerous as the 2002-03 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that killed nearly 800 people, or the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which has killed more than 700 people since 2012.
Pakistan halts flights to and from China
Pakistan on Friday halted flights to and from China with immediate effect, a civil aviation official said, as the death toll from a virus outbreak spreading in China mounted and the World Health Organization called it a global health emergency.
"We are suspending flights to China until Feb 2," additional secretary of aviation Abdul Sattar Khokhar told Reuters by phone, adding the situation would be reviewed after that date.
He declined to comment on the reason for the closure.
Some airlines including British Airways, have suspended flights to China due to warnings of the coronavirus outbreak.
AIR CANADA: Air Canada said on Jan. 28 it was cancelling select flights to China.
AIR FRANCE: Air France said on Jan. 30 it suspended all scheduled flights to and from mainland China until Feb. 9.
AIR INDIA Air: India said it was cancelling its Mumbai-Delhi-Shanghai flight from Jan. 31 to Feb. 14.
AIR NEW ZEALAND: Air New Zealand said on Jan. 31 it was temporarily reducing flights between Auckland and Shanghai to four return services a week from Feb. 18 to March 31 rather than the usual daily flights.
AIR SEOUL: South Korean budget carrier Air Seoul said on Jan. 28 it had suspended all flights to China.
AIR TANZANIA: Tanzania's state-owned carrier said it would postpone its maiden flights to China. It had planned to begin charter flights to China in February.
AMERICAN AIRLINES: The largest U.S. carrier said it would suspend flights from Los Angeles to Beijing and Shanghai from Feb. 9 to March 27.
BRITISH AIRWAYS: BA said on Jan. 30 it had cancelled all flights to mainland China for a month.
CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS: Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific said it would progressively reduce capacity to and from mainland China by 50% or more from Jan. 30 to the end of March.
DELTA AIR LINES: The U.S. airline said on Jan. 29 it was reducing flights to China to 21 per week from 42, starting Feb. 6 through April 30.
EGYPTAIR: Egypt's flag carrier said on Jan. 30 it would suspend all flights to and from China starting Feb. 1.
EL AL ISRAEL AIRLINES: El Al Israel Airlines said on Jan. 30 it was suspending flights to Beijing until March 25. Israel's Health Ministry said it will not allow flights from China to land at its airports.
ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES: The African carrier on Jan. 30 denied reports it had suspended all flights to China. The airline's statement contradicted its passenger call centre, which told Reuters earlier in the day that flights to China had been suspended.
FINNAIR: Finland's Finnair said on Jan. 28 it would suspend its flights to Nanjing and Beijing until the end of March after China suspended international group travel from the country. Finnair will suspend its three weekly flights between Helsinki and Beijing Daxing between Feb. 5 and March 29 and its two weekly flights between Helsinki and Nanjing between Feb. 8 and March 29.
KENYA AIRWAYS: Kenya Airways said on Jan. 31 it has suspended all flights to China until further notice.
LION AIR: Indonesia's Lion Air Group said on Jan. 29 it would suspend all flights to China from February. The airline has suspended six flights from several Indonesian cities to China so far and will suspend the rest next month.
LUFTHANSA: Germany's Lufthansa said on Jan. 29 it was suspending Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines flights to and from China until Feb. 9. The airline continues to fly to Hong Kong, but it will stop taking bookings for flights to mainland China until the end of February.
ROYAL AIR MAROC: Moroccan airline Royal Air Maroc (RAM) has temporarily suspended its direct flights to China, the company said on Jan. 30. RAM had on Jan. 16 launched a direct air route with three flights weekly between its Casablanca hub and Beijing.
RWANDAIR: Rwanda carrier RwandAir has halted flights to and from China until further notice, the airline said in a statement on Friday. The decision will be reviewed later in February, it said.
SAS Nordic: airline SAS said on Jan. 30 it has decided to suspend all flights to and from Shanghai and Beijing from Jan. 31 until Feb. 9. SAS offers 12 regular weekly connections from and to Shanghai and Beijing.
SINGAPORE AIRLINESS: Singapore Airlines Ltd SIAL.SI said on Jan. 31 it would reduce capacity on some of its routes to mainland China in February. The cuts include flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Xiamen and Chongqing, some of which are flown by regional arm SilkAir. Its budget carrier Scoot is also cutting back on flights to China.
TURKISH AIRLINES: Turkey's flag carrier said on Jan. 30 it would decrease frequency on scheduled flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Xian between Feb. 5 and Feb. 29.
UNITED AIRLINES: Chicago-based United said it would implement a second phase of flight cancellations between its hub cities in the United States and Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, resulting in 332 additional round trips being called off through March 28. The cancellations will reduce the carrier's daily departures for mainland China and Hong Kong to four daily departures from 12.
United had previously suspended 24 U.S. flights to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai between Feb. 1 and Feb. 8 because of a significant drop in demand.
UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INC: UPS has cancelled 22 China flights, as a result of the Wuhan quarantines and normal manufacturing closures due to the Lunar New Year holiday, UPS Chief Executive David Abney said on Jan. 30. He did not specify how many flights cancellations were due to the virus.
VIRGIN ATLANTIC: Virgin Atlantic said on Jan. 30 it would suspend its daily operations to Shanghai for two weeks from Feb. 2. It cited declining demand for flights and the safety of its customers and staff.