The Associated Press has just published a useful list of the latest figures on coronavirus infections. It says these are up-to-date as of midday on Monday in Beijing:
- China: 2,744, with 769 of those newly confirmed in the 24 hours through midnight Sunday. Five are in Hong Kong and two in Macao. Nearly all of the 80 deaths have been in Hubei province, with four elsewhere in China.
- United States: 5, 2 in southern California and 1 each in Washington state, Chicago, and Arizona.
- Thailand: 8
- Australia: 5
- South Korea: 4
- Japan: 4
- Singapore: 4
- Malaysia: 4
- France: 3
- Taiwan: 3
- Vietnam: 2
- Canada: 1
- Nepal: 1
As I mentioned earlier, China’s premier, Li Keqiang, has been visiting Wuhan. There’s been plenty of video clips on social media of him meeting medical staff. He also visited a store where he had his temperature scanned upon entry.
Singapore said on Monday that the coronavirus outbreak will hurt its economy this year. So far it has reported four cases of the virus.
“We certainly expect there to be an impact on our economy, business and consumer confidence this year especially as the situation is expected to persist for some time,” trade minister Chan Chun Sing said.
Singapore is currently forecasting growth in a wide range of 0.5-2.5% this year.
The country has announced a raft of new measures on Monday to halt the spread of the virus, including urging all school students and staff with a recent travel history to China to stay at home for a fortnight.
WHO to hold special meeting in Beijing
The head of the World Health Organisation will hold a special meeting with officials in Beijing on Monday to discuss how to contain the coronavirus.
The WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Twitter: “My WHO colleagues and I would like to understand the latest developments and strengthen our partnership with China in providing further protection against the outbreak.”
You can find our latest update on the virus outbreak below.
As I reported earlier, the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, has travelled to Wuhan, the centre of the virus outbreak. Li is China’s second most powerful man. According to the government outlet, the Global Times, he told medical staff at Wuhan hospital: “I am here to cheer you up”.
Hainan province confirms first death from coronavirus
The Chinese state broadcaster CCTV has said that Hainan province confirmed on Monday that an 80-year-old woman has died after being infected with the coronavirus, marking the province’s first fatality in the rapidly spreading outbreak.
China’s state media is reporting of the more than 2,700 people infected with coronavirus, 461 are in a critical condition. Eighty people are known to have died in China from the virus.
The BBC’s China correspondent, Stephen McDonell, is reporting that China’s massive film studio, Hengdian studios, has suspended filming because of the virus. The studio’s website says it is the biggest film and TV shooting base in the world.
University student in Sydney confirmed with virus
More on the Australian cases of the virus, and the University of New South Wales, which is in Sydney, has confirmed that one of its students has tested positive for the virus. I am assuming that this is the 21-year-old woman referred to by the health authorities at a press conference in the past hour. The university says the student arrived back in Sydney on 22 January and was not infectious on the flight.
“The student did not attend any classes at the University and stayed on her own in. campus accomodation with no. close contact before she was admitted to hospital,” the university said.
So after that flurry of news conferences, I’ll just double back on one of the key points from Australian authorities. That is, they don’t believe there have been any human-to-human transmission of the virus in the country. This is significant for a number of reasons, but particularly as the country’s schools are due to return this week from the long summer break. Medical advice is if children have been in close contact with a CONFIRMED case of the virus, they should not attend school for 14 days.
The New South Wales department of education describes close contact as: “living in the same household, 15 minutes fact-to-face contact with a person with confirmed coronavirus in any setting, or sharing a closed space with a person with confirmed coronavirus for more than 2 hours”.
Payne has also asked anyone who is still in affected Chinese provinces to get in touch with her department. She says the contact line has already had 385 calls. She has given out the two numbers again: ph 1300 555 135 from inside Australia or +61 2 6261 3305 from outside the country.
Payne has advised Australians in China not to attend public gatherings: “People will be safer if they continue to follow the advice that has been given by health authorities, both in Australia and in China. That does mean avoiding major gatherings, staying away from crowded areas, as much as possible, and following strict hygiene precautions,” Payne says.
Now we are hearing from Australia’ s foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne.
She says where possible, her government is looking to assist Australians who want to leave Hubei province. A number of countries have been looking at how to get their citizens out of affected Chinese provinces which are affected by coronavirus, particularly Hubei.
Australia’s chief medical officer says no human-to-human transmission in country
Australia’s chief medical officer Prof Brendan Murphy. He says the majority of people who have been tested in Australia have tested negative for coronavirus. He says there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus in Australia. Every flight from China is now being met by border security officers, who are giving out information about the virus and are also working to identify potentially infected passengers.
Four adults in Western Australia are also being tested to see if they have contracted the deadly coronavirus.
The WA Department of Health would not confirm any further details about the patients on Monday but said they each met specific travel criteria.
There have been no confirmed cases in WA with three people returning negative test results.