Photo: ANI
Photo: ANI

Coronavirus update: Five Wuhan returnees shifted to Safdarjung Hospital

  • Five Wuhan returnees showing symptoms like cough and sneezing tested negative for coronavirus
  • China has imposed sweeping measures to try to halt the virus including virtually locking down the central province of Hubei

The death toll in China's coronavirus rose sharply to 426 with 64 deaths on Monday alone while 3,235 new confirmed cases were reported, taking the number of those infected with the deadly disease to 20,522, Chinese health authorities said on Tuesday. The 64 people who died on Monday were all from the Hubei province, the epicentre of the virus, China's National Health Commission said.

Here are the latest updates of the deadly coronavirus:

Five people shifted to Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital from ITBP facility

Five people suspected of carrying the coronavirus have been shifted to Safdarjung Hospital from the ITBP facility built to quarantine the people brought from the worst-affected Chinese city, Wuhan.

According to a report by PTI, this is being done as pre-cautionary measure after the three men and two women displayed symptoms like cough and sneezing.

However, an ANI tweet reveals that all five people have been tested negative for coronavirus. 406 people have been quarantined at the ITBP facility in Delhi since the last week.

Russia prepares for potential virus spread, closes some schools

Russia is preparing in case of a wide spread of China's coronavirus, a senior official said on Tuesday, as schools closed and public events were cancelled in some regions though officials attributed that simply to flu.

Russia has a 4,300km (2,670-mile) land border with China and has reported two cases of the flu-like virus far from the capital Moscow in Siberia, both involving Chinese nationals.

Monitor train passengers from Kerala, demand Goa MLAs

Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat on Tuesday urged State Health Minister Vishwajit Rane to take adequate precautions and install mechanisms to screen movement of people from Kerala to Goa, in order to keep the coronavirus spread at bay. "There is a need to take precautions against the coronavirus. Few people come from China to Goa, but there is a lot of movement of people coming from Kerala to Goa," Kamat told the state Assembly, during a discussion on the precautions which need to be taken in the state.

Pak embassy in China asks its nationals to register amid coronavirus scare

Pakistan has urged its nationals residing in China to register themselves with its embassy in Beijing as the flight operations resumed between the two countries amid the coronavirus outbreak that has claimed 425 lives. Pakistan on Monday allowed two Chinese flights to land here, a day after it received special medical kits from Beijing to detect the deadly virus cases.

5 at Manesar Coronavirus quarantine show cough, cold symptoms

Five individuals, out of the 252 students who arrived from Chinas Wuhan city and are quarantined at the coronavirus facility at Haryanas Manesar have shown symptoms of cough and cold and have been moved to the Indian Army's Base Hospital in Delhi Cantonment for better observation and treatment, an army spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Coronavirus to hit oil demand by around 0.5% in 2020: BP CFO

The global economic slowdown in the wake of China's coronavirus outbreak is set to reduce global oil demand in 2020 by up to 0.5%, BP's Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary said. The drop in industrial activity and flight cancellations has so far hit oil demand by around 200,000 to 300,000 barrels per day (bpd), Gilvary told Reuters, after BP reported its fourth quarter results.

Coronavirus outbreak may lead to 10% drop in iPhone shipments: Analyst

The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus may adversely affect Apple's supply chain, leading to a 10 per cent drop in iPhone shipments in the first quarter of 2020, according to a forecast by top Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Thailand confirms six new cases of coronavirus

Thailand confirmed six new cases of the new coronavirus on Tuesday, four of them Thai nationals and two Chinese.

The four Thai people included a couple who had visited Japan and two drivers who had picked up Chinese passengers in Thailand, the health ministry said.

The new cases brought the total reported in the country to 25.

Air India to suspend its flights to Hong Kong

In view of novel coronavirus outbreak, Air India is suspending its flights to Hong Kong after flying AI314 on February 7.

Earlier, IndiGo Airlines had announced the suspension of its flight operations between Kolkata and Guangzhou from February 6 to February 27.

Govt bans airlines from boarding passengers from China to India

The government on Tuesday banned all India-bound airlines from boarding any passengers from China on an e-visa, in view of the rapid spread of novel coronavirus which originated in Wuhan.

Malaysia confirms first citizen infected with virus

Malaysian health authorities on Tuesday confirmed the first citizen to be infected with the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 10. They said the 41-year-old Malaysian had travelled to Singapore for a meeting last month with colleagues from China - including one from Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic. But he only showed symptoms on January 29, nearly a week after he returned to Malaysia.

Taiwan bars entry to foreign nationals traveling from China

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said the island will deny entry to all foreign nationals who had been to China during the past 14 days starting from Friday due to the increasing threat from the coronavirus epidemic. The new incoming travel ban includes all foreign nationals who have been in China since February 7, Taiwan's foreign ministry said in a statement. It extends an existing ban on visitors from China but does not include visitors from Hong Kong and Macau.

Macau to close casinos for two weeks over virus

Macau on Tuesday said it will temporarily close down all casinos as the gambling hub battles the deadly coronavirus, cutting off the lifeblood of the city's economy. The move came as the former Portuguese colony confirmed its tenth confirmed case of the virus, which has killed more than 400 people in China, infected tens of thousands and spread to more than 20 countries.

Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng, a pro-Beijing appointee who took office in December, said the gambling industry would initially shutter for two weeks but he warned the closures could be extended if the virus continued to spread.

"This is a difficult decision but we have to do it, for the health of our Macau residents," he said.

Mass cancellation of hotel bookings in Kerala, says Minister Kadakampally Surendran

A day after the Kerala government declared the novel coronavirus as a 'state calamity', Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Tuesday said the epidemic outbreak had begun affecting the tourism sector as hotel bookings have suffered mass cancellations. After the Nipah virus and deadly floods, the coronavirus outbreak has also adversely impacted the holiday industry as hotel bookings during the February-March months have been cancelled widely across the state, he said in the state Assembly during the question hour.

Singapore Airshow to go ahead despite virus worries

The Singapore Airshow, Asia's biggest gathering of aerospace and defence industry executives, will go ahead as planned but a meeting of international aviation officials has been cancelled, the organisers said in a statement on Tuesday. There had been concerns over the staging of the event, scheduled to run over Feb. 11-16, after a virus outbreak in China prompted measures by several nations, including the wealthy city-state, to rein in the spread of infections.

China tells domestic airlines not to cut international routes

China's civil aviation authority has urged domestic carriers to continue flying international routes, except to countries with travel bans over a virus epidemic, as they weigh cuts in response to demand, state news agency Xinhua said on Tuesday.

The comments of the Civil Aviation Administration of China were reported on Xinhua's account on messaging app Weibo.

Patient infected with coronavirus has died in Hong Kong

A 39-year-old man in Hong Kong who was being treated for the novel coronavirus has died, medical authorities confirmed Tuesday, the first fatality connected to the illness in the financial hub and only the second outside of mainland China. A spokesman for the Hospital Authority said the victim was a resident of Hong Kong who travelled to the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, on January 21 and who returned to the financial hub two days later. But so far only the Philippines and Hong Kong have reported a fatality outside China.

Air India crew, part of Wuhan evacuation, sent on week-long leave

The Air India crew onboard the two special flights that evacuated more than 600 Indians from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan has been sent on a week-long leave, an Air India spokesperson said on Monday.

The two special flights had returned to New Delhi carrying as many as 647 Indians and 7 Maldivians on Saturday and Sunday from Wuhan - a Chinese city of more than 11 million people which has been the epicentre of the new strain of coronavirus.

A total of 64 people were involved in the evacuation operations. These included 30 cabin crew, 8 pilots, 10 commercial staff of Air India and one senior officer from AI CMD Secretariat, the spokesperson said.

Japan to quarantine cruise ship on which coronavirus patient sailed

Japan's government said on Monday it would quarantine a Yokohama-bound cruise ship, after a Hong Kong man who sailed on it last month tested positive for coronavirus. The 80-year-old man flew to Japan and boarded the ship, the Diamond Princess, run by Carnival Japan Inc , in Yokohama on January 20 and disembarked on January 25, NHK public broadcaster said.

He developed a cough a day before embarking but did not develop a fever until January 30, a day before he was confirmed to have been infected by the virus in Hong Kong, NHK reported.

Princess Cruises, a Carnival-owned cruise, said the review of the arriving guests and crew was standard practice after a guest tested positive.

Chinese woman detained for hiding virus contact

Police in China have detained a woman for "deliberately concealing" her contact with someone from an area stricken by the coronavirus and jeopardising efforts to stop its spread, the Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.

China has imposed sweeping measures to try to halt the virus including virtually locking down the central province of Hubei, where the virus emerged in December, and asking anyone who has visited there to isolate themselves for 14 days.

The detained woman, a 36-year-old identified by her surname, Liu, had hurt virus prevention and control work through her action and public security authorities in the northern municipality of Tianjin took her into custody for "administrative detention".

The state news agency gave no details of what she had done or say if or when she would be released.

Hyundai suspends production line over China outbreak

South Korea's largest automaker Hyundai Motor halted operations at one of its assembly lines Tuesday because of a lack of parts due to the coronavirus outbreak in China and is reviewing a wider suspension, a company spokeswoman said.

The virus outbreak in China had disrupted wiring component procurement, a Hyundai spokeswoman said.

"For now, the production line for the Genesis sedans at the Number 5 plant in Ulsan has been temporarily suspended," she said.

She could not estimate when production might resume and added the company was discussing possible suspensions of operations at more plants with its labour union.

"The situation doesn't look good," she said.

Far from virus epicentre, China's Wenzhou city scrambles to curb outbreak

Far from the coronavirus epicentre, the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou, a major commercial hub with a population of about 9 million, is scrambling to contain its own local outbreak.

Wenzhou is more than 680 km (425 miles) from Wuhan, where the epidemic was first reported, but its problems underscore the challenges faced by China's big cities as they grapple with the rapidly spreading disease.

Wenzhou had 291 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Sunday, up 26 on the day and the most of any city outside Hubei province, where Wuhan city is located.

Under restrictions implemented on Saturday, only one person per household is allowed to leave home at a time, and markets, shopping centres and entertainment venues have been closed.

Asia markets rise, Shanghai swings as investors track virus

Asian markets rose Tuesday with Shanghai fluctuating between positive and negative as bargain-buyers stepped in after the previous day's rout but trading floors remained anxious as China's deadly virus claimed more lives.

Investors tracked gains in Wall Street and Europe following last week's rout, though focus remains on authorities' efforts to contain an outbreak that has now infected 20,000 and killed more in mainland China than the SARS epidemic, which hammered Asian economies in 2003.

The virus has now spread to more than 20 countries and several others have imposed tough travel rules including banning flights to and from China, while the World Health Organization has declared a global health emergency.

Virus jolts China economy, forcing rethink on almost everything

China is preparing steps to adjust to a slower rate of economic growth as the coronavirus outbreak shows few signs of abating.

Officials are evaluating whether to soften the economic-growth target for 2020, while state-owned liquefied natural gas importers are considering declaring themselves unable to fulfill some obligations on cargo deliveries -- known as force majeure -- according to people familiar with the matter. And authorities in Beijing are hoping the U.S. will agree to some flexibility on pledges in their phase-one trade deal, people close to the situation said.

Two-thirds of the Chinese economy will remain closed this week as several provinces took the extraordinary step of extending the Lunar New Year holiday to help curb the spread of the disease that’s claimed 425 lives, with 20,438 confirmed cases, mostly in Hubei.

Australia eyes second flight from Wuhan as evacuees arrive on Christmas Island

Australia may arrange a second evacuation flight out of China's Wuhan city, the epicentre of the coronavirus, after a first plane load of its citizens arrived on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday.

Some 241 passengers on the initial flight will be quarantined for two weeks on the remote Australia-run island, about 1,400 km (870 miles) northwest of mainland Australia.

A Qantas Airways Ltd 747 carrying the evacuees and Department of Health officials landed at a military airbase north of Perth, where passengers were transferred to two smaller planes for the flight to Christmas Island. The first of the chartered flights landed on Christmas Island on Tuesday morning.

China's virus-stricken Wuhan converts buildings into hospitals

The central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, started on Monday night to convert a local gymnasium, an exhibition centre and a cultural complex into makeshift hospitals, a local newspaper reported.

The three venues will have more than 3,400 beds in total for patients suffering from mild cases of the infection, the official Changjiang Daily said.

Wuhan, capital of the central province of Hubei, had planned two makeshift hospitals, Huoshenshan and Leishenshan, with 2,600 beds in total.

Xi Jinping warns virus may impact China’s social stability

Chinese President Xi Jinping called on all officials to quickly work together to contain a deadly new virus at a rare meeting of top leaders, saying the outcome would directly impact social stability in the country.

The effort to contain the virus directly affects people’s health, China’s economic and social stability, and the country’s process of opening up, he told a meeting of the Communist Party’s powerful Politburo Standing Committee on Monday. Leaders also urged officials “to achieve the targets of economic and social development this year" and “promote stable consumer spending."

Oil prices rebound from China virus slump amid ginger recovery across markets

Oil prices rose on Tuesday, matching moves in other financial markets as investors regained calm after Monday's sharp sell-off on fears of the impact of the China coronavirus on demand sent crude to its lowest level in more than a year.

Brent crude was at $54.66 a barrel by 0227 GMT, up 21 cents, or nearly 0.4%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 32 cents, or 0.6%, at $50.43 a barrel.

Both Brent and WTI are currently down by more 20% from this year's peak on January 6.

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