Published: Fri, January 24, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Singapore schools ask for holiday travel details as China virus spreads

Singapore schools ask for holiday travel details as China virus spreads

The death toll in China has risen to 25 and almost 850 cases of patients infected with the virus are globally confirmed. Authorities there are battling to contain it.

Speaking earlier in the day, the head of Quebec's public health authority said five people in that province were under surveillance for possible exposure.

The strict measures in and around Wuhan are aimed at reducing the number of new cases coming out of the epicentre "to zero", said Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meanwhile, one man was treated in Belfast for symptoms associated with coronavirus.

Didier Houssin, who chaired the World Health Organization emergency committee on the virus, said only a limited number of cases have been reported outside China, and that Chinese authorities are taking preventive measures such as a lockdown of Wuhan.

Most of the cases are in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated late a year ago.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said the tests were "purely precautionary". "We do expect additional cases in the USA and globally", Messonnier said. There have been no confirmed cases in Canada so far.

He added: "The UK is one of the first countries to have developed a world-leading test for the new coronavirus".

China on Friday broadened its unprecedented, open-ended lockdowns to encompass around 25 million people in and around Wuhan, though the measures' potential for success is uncertain. Hong Kong and Beijing are canceling planned holiday activities, according to local officials and state media.

On Thursday, Vietnam and Singapore joined the list of countries where the virus had spread. It recommends exit screening at airports as part of containment measures.

The coronavirus family includes both the common cold and viruses that cause more serious diseases, such as the outbreak of SARS that spread to more than a dozen countries in 2002-03 and killed about 800 people, and the respiratory syndrome in the Middle East or MERS, which is thought to be that it comes from camels.

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The CIA believes that Prince Mohammed ordered the killing of Khashoggi, sources told Reuters here weeks later. Apple Inc. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


In response to the outbreak, the Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to Wuhan. Deepening the isolation, there were few flights available to the city.

Nonetheless, it was a "bit too early" to consider the outbreak a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern", WHO Emergency Committee panel chair Didier Houssin said after the body met in Geneva.

Two family members he traveled with and around 20 staff at medical facilities in Japan who have been in close contact with the man are being monitored, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

"And that is essential because you can not deal with a potential pandemic in one country alone".

The first cases appeared last month in Wuhan, an industrial and transportation hub in central China. Here's a look at what we know, and what experts are trying to figure out.

The Sars (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus that killed almost 800 people globally in the early 2000s was also a coronavirus, as is the common cold.

Outside experts cautioned it will take some time to get answers to basic questions about the new coronavirus, including what animal was the source of this outbreak and what makes some people more susceptible to infection than others. There have not been any other suspected human cases reported prior to this.

In Zhijiang city, all public venues have been shut down except hospitals, supermarkets, farmers' markets, gas stations and drug stores.

He said he expected the outbreak to peak over the weekend, noting that the virus had an incubation period of around eight days.

The coalition has reached more than 750 million United States dollars of its one billion dollar funding target, and to date it has committed to investing more than 456 million dollars in vaccine and platform development.

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