What is happening inside coronavirus epicentre Wuhan?, World News


Premier Li Keqiang visited the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, as the central government stepped up its response while city authorities faced growing accusations from the public of mismanagement and a failure to respond to the outbreak in time.

China has extended the Lunar New Year holiday to help contain the virus, now spreading around the world.

According to the Indian Ministry of Tourism, China is India's 8th largest source of foreign visitors.

"Very few cases reported in US, but strongly on watch. Our experts are extraordinary!"

Closing transport out of Wuhan was a "very hard decision", added Zhou Xianwang, Wuhan's mayor, in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV on Monday.

The death toll in China has mounted to 80 with 2,744 confirmed cases.

Xinhua said medical supplies are being rushed to the city, including 14,000 protective suits, 110,000 pairs of gloves and masks and goggles.

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Gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. advised staff to work from home until February 7, and e-commerce firm Alibaba removed vendors' offers of overpriced face masks from its online Taobao marketplace as prices surged.

The situation is "serious", recognized on Saturday evening President Xi Jinping, warning that the epidemic which appeared in December in Wuhan in the center of the country "is accelerating".

"Not at all. There are no sick people (at the building site), they are all in hospital".

As of Monday, a total of 956 medical personnel from different municipalities and provinces were deployed to ground zero in Wuhan City.

"If he can mess up the data multiple times, no wonder the disease has spread so severely", one Weibo user said.

Zhou Xianwang made the remarks in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV.

"We are steadily pushing forward the disease control and prevention".

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The overall number of confirmed cases in China is 2,744 while more than 300 are critically ill.

Investors are anxious about the impact on travel, tourism and broader economic activity.

Central Hubei province is at the heart of China's new virus outbreak, which has killed at least 81 people and infected more than 2,700 people across the country and has spread overseas, including Thailand, the United States, and Australia. Demand spiked for safe-haven assets such as the Japanese yen and Treasury notes.

It has caused global concern because of its similarity to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed hundreds across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Zhang Xuezhong denounced them as "savage" online, earning him the opprobrium of many panicked commentators.

Another 41 cases have been confirmed overseas, including in Thailand, the United States, and Australia.

Twenty-four new deaths were confirmed in Hubei on Monday, and the southern island province of Hainan reported its first fatality, bringing the nationwide toll to 81.

Chinese officials announced Sunday that the country was banning indefinitely the trade of wildlife products in markets, supermarkets, restaurants, and on e-commerce platforms. Much is not known, including how easily it spreads and just how deadly it is.

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The director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced that he was going to China to discuss with the authorities means to contain the epidemic.