If you or any of your loved ones are planning to visit China for this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations, then you might need to reconsider your program.
Because there is a deadly virus spreading in 13 major cities of China. The name is Corona Virus and here is what we know about it yet.
According to the authorities of the Chinese province of Hubei, where the new Wuhan pneumonia coronavirus initially originated, the number of deaths due to this disease has increased multiple folds.
National Health Commission warned the citizens that the virus could mutate and spread. According to state television CCTV, the provincial government held a press conference tonight in which it explained that the number of confirmed cases in the region so far rises to 800.
Li Bin, deputy minister of the National Health Commission of China told the media today:
“Basically, do not go to Wuhan. And that all those who are there do not leave the city”
He further said there is evidence that the disease “is transmitted primarily through the respiratory tract.” According to BBC News, Bus, subway, ferry and suburban services have been suspended since 10 in the morning (local time) on Thursday, January 23.
Further Measures against the virus
Since its origin following measures has been taken by the government to control the virus:
- Temperature control for travelers in ports, airports and bus and train stations
- Strict monitoring of those suffering from symptoms (fever, fatigue, dry cough, dyspnea)
- Designation of specific hospitals for the treatment of patients and isolation
- And although it has not been possible to find the exact origin of the virus, all the hypotheses point to a seafood and fish market in the city of Wuhan – home of about 11 million people -, so the sale of animals has been prohibited in the city.
- They have installed several dozen thermal detectors in the Wuhan to identify the possible infected people as soon as possible because fever is one of the first symptoms.
- The vice minister said that, although Wuhan’s new pneumonia is considered a contagious disease of type B, it is being tackled with the protocols designed for those of type A, the maximum on the local scale.
- In addition, to help combat the outbreak, Chinese Social Security has announced that medical expenses related to the treatment of new pneumonia will be fully covered by national funds through a reimbursement system.
- The local press and social networks are saturated with advice on how to prevent infections, such as the use of masks (the drastic increase in their use is noticeable in the streets of Beijing), the need to wash hands frequently and thoroughly or cover mouths and the nose every time you cough or sneeze.
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International Media and the Virus Spread
The virus is already present in at least 13 Chinese provinces, in addition to the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao, which confirmed their first cases on Wednesday.
Abroad, at least 4 cases have been detected in Thailand, and one in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States, and many countries have been controlling passengers from China for days to minimize risks of contagion.
In this context, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened for a meeting of experts to determine whether the current outbreak of coronavirus in China constitutes an international emergency.
For its part, WHO opted for not declaring an international emergency at the time of the outbreak, although it asked China to “increase surveillance” in an epidemic “of high regional and global risk.”
They have introduced mandatory analyzes at the arrival terminals of airports, where there could be a greater indication of the disease.
A Complete LockDown in China
The authorities of the cities of Wuhan, Huanggang, Ezhou, Chibi, Xiantao, Qianjiang, Zhejiang, and Lichuan issued circulars informing about mobility restrictions.
” All cinemas, cybercafes and indoor meeting places, as well as places of tourism and entertainment in Huanggang city, will be closed, ” said the statement, which also announces the closure of the central market but does not set any timetable for reopening of the aforementioned locations.
Also, the Didi shared taxi service (similar to Uber) will stop operating at 12:00 local time (04.00 GMT time) today at the request of the Wuhan command center in charge of containing the epidemic.
The AFP agency reports that China has also closed parts of the Great Wall to prevent the spread of the virus.