China is facing one of its worst health crisis as novel coronavirus has killed at least 80 people in the country and infected more than 2750 persons globally with 33 overseas cases. China’s National Health Commission has said transmission ability of virus is getting stronger and infections could continue to rise as the nature of the new virus is still unknown. It said, containment efforts, which have thus far included isolated treatment, transportation and travel restrictions and the cancellation of big events, will be intensified.
WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will reach Beijing today to take stock of the situation and to understand and support the efforts done by Chinese govt for the coronavirus response. He said in a tweet that WHO has activated global networks of experts and is trying to activate the response system in various affected countries. China is working on the development of a vaccine which may take some time.
Prasar Bharati Special Correspondent in Beijing reports that many countries have requested Chinese authorities to evacuate their nationals and India is also in touch with Chinese authorities for further steps. Chinese Foreign Ministry has said that it will provide necessary help to countries evacuating citizens from Wuhan amid coronavirus outbreak.
Indian Embassy in Beijing has said that it is in close touch with Indians in Wuhan. Indian embassy has opened a third hotline also to cater to queries of Indians. As of now, no Indian citizen has been affected and food and water supplies are available to them.
Meanwhile, China has extended its week-long Spring Festival break till 2nd February, in an effort to contain the virus. It is mobilizing doctors, medical staff and health equipments from other provinces to Wuhan as the city is not able to cater the needs of ballooning cases of infections. China has said that they also said they are open to experts from WHO, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan visiting Wuhan to help with research.
A total of 30 provincial-level jurisdictions in China and Hong Kong have activated their highest level emergency response amid the coronavirus outbreak. China has announced a halt of all outbound tourist groups amid the coronavirus outbreak. It has also put a temporary ban on the sale of wildlife.
Around 15 cities in Hubei province have put travel restrictions. Beijing city has announced the suspension of all inter-province shuttle buses however, officials said transportation within the city will be smooth.
The government of Wuhan City is now setting up a second 1300 bed coronavirus hospital to receive patients in addition to one 1000 bedded hospital which will be functional by 3rd February.
Meanwhile, Health authorities say there are now five confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States and more are expected.
Around 100 people in 26 states are being investigated for the virus in the US. Of the confirmed cases, all five people had traveled to Wuhan in China.