UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — China closed a major city Sunday away from the epicenter of the emerging Corona virus, at a time when the number of deaths in the giant Asian country due to the epidemic reached 304, while the first death was announced outside the country in the Philippines.
Recent developments deepen concern about the spread of the virus as more governments around the world have closed their borders to people from China.
Since its appearance in the Chinese city of Wuhan (central) late last year, the virus has infected 14,500 people across China and has reached 24 countries.
Most of the injuries abroad were from people who traveled from Wuhan, the industrial city of 11 million people, or surrounding areas in Hubei Province.
According to the World Health Organization, which announced that the disease has become an international health emergency, the person who died in the Philippines is a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan.
China has taken unprecedented steps to contain the virus, which is believed to have transmitted to humans from an animal market in Wuhan and can be transmitted between humans in the same way as the flu infection.
– Quarantine –
The measures included exceptional quarantine operations in Wuhan and the surrounding cities, with all forms of transportation suspended, effectively cutting the isolation of more than 50 million people.
But ten days after Wuhan’s dismissal, the authorities announced similar tight restrictions on the movement of people in Wenzhou, 800 km away.
It is reported that Wenzhou is a coastal city of nine million people and located in Zhejiang Province, and is part of the country’s industrial heartland, which was the engine of the economic boom witnessed by China in recent decades.
According to the new procedures, only one member of each family is allowed to leave the house once every two days to purchase essentials, while 46 of the highway charging stations have been closed, according to the authorities. The city previously closed public places, such as cinemas and museums, and suspended public transport.
Zhejiang Province recorded the highest number of confirmed cases of newly borne outbreaks of Corona virus outside Hubei, 661 confirmed, 265 of which were in Wenzhou.
Close the borders.
At the international level, governments continued to tighten travel procedures to deal with the epidemic.
The United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel have banned non-resident foreign nationals from visiting if they have been to China recently, and have warned their citizens not to travel to the Asian country.
The US Department of Defense, in turn, announced that the US military would provide a shelter for 1,000 people if they were to be isolated from the virus. She indicated that several facilities, each with a capacity of at least 250 people, would be prepared by February 29.
As for Mongolia, Russia and Nepal, they closed their land borders, while Papua New Guinea went further, prohibiting entry to anyone arriving from ports or airports across Asia.
The news of the death of a person in Manila Sunday came shortly after the Philippines announced that no foreign travelers were coming from China.
The number of countries that confirmed injuries to their soil increased to 24 after Britain, Russia and Sweden confirmed their first injuries.
– new deaths –
The number of deaths in China rose to 304 Sunday, as the authorities recorded 45 new deaths compared to the previous day.
And 2590 new infections were confirmed in China, bringing the total to about 14,500 cases.
The number of confirmed infections in China is much higher than that recorded when the SARS virus (acute respiratory syndrome) spread in 2002 and 2003.
And the “SARS” caused by a virus similar to the emerging corona, which also started in China, killed 774 people around the world, most of them in China and Hong Kong.
– vacation ends –
The virus appeared at the worst possible time for China, coinciding with the Lunar New Year holiday when hundreds of millions travel across the country on planes, trains and buses to spend the season with their families.
China has cut long bus trips and delayed thousands of train connections to ease travel across the country.
The holiday was due to end on Friday, but was extended until Monday to give the authorities more time to deal with the crisis.
People began returning to work on planes and trains over the weekend, wearing protective masks.
And the customs authorities have ordered that temperatures be measured at all points of entry to and exit from Beijing, according to official media.
Returning travelers registered with residential compounds will also be examined, while procedures for detecting temperatures in train stations, as well as many offices and cafes, have been put in place.
A 22-year-old woman who arrived at the Beijing railway station in northeast China said her family had urged her to delay her return. “But I was afraid this would affect my job,” she said.
Guardian Du Guiliang, 47, said he would return to work in Beijing from Sunday, after returning from Liaoning Province (northeast).
“Many colleagues (from Hubei) cannot go back,” he said. “Today’s daytime shifters at our company have to take turns at night as well.”
But many businesses will remain closed for at least an additional week, while major cities, including Shanghai, have extended the holiday.
At a time when the Chinese economy is facing difficulties, the central bank announced that it will pump 1.2 trillion yuan ($ 173 billion) on Monday to maintain liquidity in the banking system, coinciding with the re-circulation in the markets after the holiday.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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