With the number of deaths and confirmed cases of the coronavirus rising in China (and around the world), authorities in Wuhan have suspended traffic into the city by road and waterways while other Chinese cities have canceled CNY celebrations.
State-run news outlet Xinhua reports the new measures are some of the latest efforts to contain the spread of the novel virus (2019-nCoV), which has killed 26 in China’s Hubei, Hebei and Heilongjiang provinces. As of January 24, there are at least 881 confirmed cases in the PRC and 11 outside of the country, including Thailand, US, Japan and South Korea, among others.
With the Year of the Rat beginning tomorrow, cities around China have canceled large gatherings as a means to avoid the spread of the virus. In Shenzhen, the government has postponed a light show in Nanshan district, while the capital city has shut down the Forbidden City and canceled traditional temple fairs.
Image via Pixabay
On Thursday, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergency committee did not declare that the outbreak is an international health emergency. At the meeting, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said:
“Make no mistake. This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency. WHO’s risk assessment is that the outbreak is a very high risk in China, and a high risk regionally and globally.”
Meanwhile, Hubei province launched a Level 1 Emergency Response – the most severe for a health emergency response – to combat the spread of the virus. Authorities are also encouraging people to speak up on potential underreporting or cover-ups regarding the outbreak, as cited by CGTN. Construction on a new 1,000-bed hospital in Wuhan is already underway, which should address a shortage of existing medical resources. The completion date is set for February 3.
Screengrab via Weibo
On Friday, China Daily reported that the symptoms of the coronavirus may extend beyond fever, fatigue and coughing. A 45-year-old man has been diagnosed with the virus, after only showing symptoms of diarrhea without any fever or respiratory ailments.
Leading cinema chains in the country, including Wanda, CGV, Bona, Lumiere Pavilions, Jinyi, Dadi and others, announced that they would close temporarily in response to the virus. The news comes just a day after it was announced that the release of some of the season's leading films, like Detective Chinatown 3, will be postponed.
[Cover image: screengrab via @湖北之声/Weibo]