Published: Thu, February 06, 2020
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Timeline: How China's new coronavirus spread

Timeline: How China's new coronavirus spread

According to the Chinese authorities, there are now over 1,970 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, while the death toll stands at 56.

Authorities in the US, Nepal, France, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan confirm cases over the following days.

Forty military doctors were being brought in to help with intensive care at the Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital, state TV reported Friday. At least 1,326 cases have been reported in a number of provinces, 729 in Hubei alone.

Furthermore, this "Do Not Travel" Advisory said 'the Department of State ordered the departure of all non-emergency USA personnel and their family members.

Of the 41 deaths, 39 have been in Hubei province, where Wuhan is the capital city. The patient, in Ruttonjee Hospital, was diagnosed as having the virus on Sunday, and would be transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital, the sources said, adding that he was set to undergo further tests. Some cases are mild, with others causing cold- and flu-like symptoms, including cough and fever.

What's more, China's health minister, Ma Xiaowei, made the claim that the virus could be spread without observable symptoms, which is a "game-changer", according to an adviser to the CDC.

On Saturday, Canada declared a first "presumptive" confirmed case in a resident who had returned from Wuhan. Almost 2,000 cases have been confirmed in mainland China.

Japan's health authorities confirmed the country's third case on Saturday.

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The Lunar New Year holiday, traditionally celebrated by hundreds of millions of Chinese travelling around the country and overseas to see family, began on Friday but has been severely disrupted by the outbreak.

President Xi Jinping's remarks, reported by state broadcaster CCTV, came at a meeting of Communist Party leaders convened on Lunar New Year - the country's biggest holiday whose celebrations have been muted - and underlined the government's urgent, expanding efforts to control the outbreak.

On Saturday, several Israelis returning from China were hospitalized at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, with suspected coronavirus infection, but were later cleared.

Meanwhile, the Australian government is exploring options to evacuate Australian nationals stuck inside the locked down areas of China, around Wuhan city in central Hubei province.

The hospital will have a capacity of 1,000 beds spread over 25,000 square metres (270,000 square feet), the official Xinhua news agency said.

While China has called for transparency in managing the crisis, after cover-up of the 2002/2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome spread, officials in Wuhan have been criticised for their handling of the current outbreak. A man in his 50s tested positive for the new virus, he also recently travelled to Wuhan, China.

Airports around the world have stepped up screening of passengers from China, although some health officials and experts have questioned the effectiveness of such screenings.

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