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Business News/ News / World/  Coronavirus live update: Russia bans Chinese citizens over virus concerns

Coronavirus live update: Russia bans Chinese citizens over virus concerns

The death toll from China's coronavirus outbreak climbed to 1,886 on Tuesday as 98 more people died while the total number of confirmed cases jumped to 72,436
  • WHO warned against 'blanket measures' over the novel coronavirus outbreak, pointing out the epidemic outside of China was only affecting a 'tiny' proportion
  • The fatality rate for confirmed cases is 2.3% — 2.8% for males versus 1.7% for females.Premium
    The fatality rate for confirmed cases is 2.3% — 2.8% for males versus 1.7% for females.

    The death toll from China's coronavirus outbreak climbed to 1,886 on Tuesday as 98 more people died while the total number of confirmed cases jumped to 72,436, officials said.

    Of the new deaths, 93 were reported from Hubei Province, the epicentre of the virus, three from Henan, and one each from Hebei and Hunan, said the China’s National Health Commission.

    Hubei reported 1,807 new confirmed infection cases, taking the total number to 59,989 in the province. Another 1,432 new suspected cases were reported from the rest of China.

    NHC said 1,223 patients were discharged from hospital after recovery yesterday, bringing the total number of discharged patients in the province to 7,862. A total of 12,552 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery across China so far, the NHC added.

    By Monday, 60 confirmed cases including one death had been reported in Hong Kong 10 confirmed cases in Macao and 22 in Taiwan including one death.

    Top World Health Organisation (WHO) experts, including from the US, have joined the fight against the deadly virus, called COVID-19, in China.

    The fatality rate for confirmed cases is 2.3% — 2.8% for males versus 1.7% for females.

    Here are the latest updates on coronavirus outbreak and its global impact:

    Russia bans Chinese citizens over virus concerns: report

    Russia today said it would ban all Chinese citizens from entering its territory from 20 February , in a drastic measure against the spread of the new coronavirus, local news agencies said.

    "The entry of all Chinese citizens via Russia's state frontiers will be suspended from February 20 for work travel, private travel, study and tourism," said Deputy Prime Minister in charge of health, Tatiana Golikova, according to agencies.

    She said the decision was taken "because of the worsening of the epidemic in China and the fact that Chinese nationals are continuing to arrive on Russian territory."

    Several Chinese nationals visit Russia as tourists or live there for work or study and many transit through Russian airports en route to the West.

    Is coronavirus more 'deadly' than flu? Not exactly

    What's more deadly — the flu, SARS or the new coronavirus discovered in China?

    There are different ways to look at it and even knowledgeable folks sometimes say "deadly" when they may mean "lethal."

    Lethality means the capacity to cause death, or how often a disease proves fatal.

    Chinese scientists who looked at nearly 45,000 confirmed cases in the current COVID-19 outbreak concluded the death rate was 2.3%. But there are questions about whether all cases are being counted: Infected people with only mild symptoms may be missing from the tally. That means the true fatality rate may be lower.

    Deadly is a broader concept that takes in how far and easily a virus spreads.

    SARS proved fatal in about 10% of cases in the 2003 outbreak but was controlled quickly and spread to about 8,000 people in all.

    Sanofi to work on coronavirus vaccine

    French pharmaceutical company Sanofi jumped into the race to combat the fast-spreading coronavirus, betting that earlier work in pursuit of a SARS vaccine could accelerate its effort.

    China outbreak may peak in some areas in Feb, says expert

    Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory disease expert advising the Chinese government, expects the coronavirus outbreak to peak by mid to late February in southern China, Xinhua reported. The forecast is based on mathematical models and governments’ control measures.

    Hubei to adopt thorough checks on patients to curb epidemic

    The central Chinese province of Hubei will adopt more thorough and forceful measures to find patients with fever to further help contain the new coronavirus epidemic, the state media reported today

    Hubei will check records of all fever patients who have visited doctors since Jan. 20, and people who have bought over-the-counter cough and fever medications at both brick-and-mortar and online drug stores, Xinhua reported citing a notice by the province's epidemic control headquarters.

    India to send its largest military aircraft to evacuate more Indians from Wuhan

    India will send a C-17 military transport aircraft to the Chinese city of Wuhan on Thursday to evacuate more Indians and deliver a consignment of medical supplies to China's coronavirus-hit people, official sources said.

    The C-17 Globemaster is the largest military aircraft in the Indian Air Force's inventory. The plane can carry large combat equipment, troops and humanitarian aid across long distances in all weather conditions.

    C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
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    C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force. (Photo: PTI)

    The sources told PTI that the aircraft will carry a large consignment of medical supplies to China and bring back more Indians from Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic.

    India's national carrier Air India has already evacuated around 640 Indians from Wuhan in two separate flights.

    JLR to run out of Chinese parts for UK production after 2 weeks: CEO Ralf Speth

    Jaguar Land Rover has enough parts from China to maintain its British production for the next two weeks but not beyond that at the moment, Chief Executive Ralf Speth said on Tuesday.

    The head of Britain's biggest carmaker also told reporters that sales were not currently happening in China.

    Germany sends more medical aid to China to fight deadly virus

    Germany is sending a second shipment of medical aid supplies to China to help the Asian giant fight the coronavirus epidemic that has infected 72,436 people, AP reported.

    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the government is sending 8.7 tons of aid supplies worth £150,000, including protection gear and disinfectants.

    "Germany stands firmly on the side of China in the battle against coronavirus and works closely and trustfully with the Chinese officials," Maas said. "We have the utmost respect for the efforts China has already undertaken."

    Philippines relaxes travel ban, allows workers to move Hong Kong, Macau

    The Philippines today allowed Filipino workers to travel to Hong Kong and Macau, relaxing the travel ban it imposed on China and its special administrative regions to control the spread of the coronavirus.

    The Philippines announced its decision before Hong Kong reported that a Filipina domestic helper became its 61st case of coronavirus in the country.

    There are more than 180,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong, many working as helpers, according to the Philippines Labour Ministry.

    The Philippines had imposed a travel ban on China and its special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau. It later included Taiwan in the ban, but lifted it a few days after.

    China will use medical purchases to track patients

    China’s Hubei province said it will use recent purchases of fever and cough medicines to sweep for unidentified coronavirus patients, a new step that leverages the government’s surveillance powers to try and stop the virus.

    The province has enacted a lockdown of tens of millions of people, opened new hospitals and isolation centers, mandated self-reported temperature checks, and conducted house-to-house searches for people showing symptoms. The measures have coincided with a drop in newly reported cases in Hubei, where the outbreak began and most infections and deaths have occurred.

    The government will investigate anyone who bought fever or cough medicines since Jan. 20, whether they were purchased from brick-and-mortar stores or online. It will also track down anyone who sought treatment for a fever since then. Anyone selling treatments for a cough or fever will have to check and register and report the patient’s identity, the provincial government said.

    China sees fall in coronvirus deaths but WHO urges caution

    China reported its fewest new infections of coronavirus since January and its fewest deaths for a week, but the World Health Organization said data suggesting the epidemic had slowed should still be viewed with caution.

    WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Chinese data "appears to show a decline in new cases" but any apparent trend "must be interpreted very cautiously".

    China says figures showing a slowdown in new cases in recent days are signs that aggressive steps it has taken to curb travel and commerce are slowing the spread of the disease beyond central Hubei province and its capital, Wuhan.

    Epidemiologists say data needs to be treated with caution, and may fluctuate because of factors such as the resources available for testing.

    Wuhan airport reminds Air India rescue crew of a Zombie apocalypse

    As an Air India flight landed at the airport in Wuhan last month to rescue Indians stranded in the coronavirus-hit city, Captain Kamal Mohan couldn’t help but think that he had entered a post-apocalyptic film set.“It was frightening," Mohan said in an interview on Monday. “It’s a massive airport, so just imagine not seeing a soul. You’d think a zombie might pop up from somewhere."

    The airport, which handled 20 million passengers last year, was completely deserted and there were only three ground personnel to help with the evacuation process, said cabin crew chief Chander Prakash.

    The Air India crew had to wear three pairs of gloves and “layer-over-layer" of clothes that looked like a spacesuit, according to Prakash. “There were special instructions on how to wear the clothes and how to remove them to ensure you don’t get contaminated," he said.

    China cuts pension, insurance costs to help firms hit by coronavirus

    China will cut some pension contributions and insurance fees to help companies affected to the coronavirus outbreak, state television quoted a cabinet meeting as saying on Tuesday.

    Companies in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, will be exempted from paying pensions, jobless insurance and work injury insurance from February to June, it said.

    The government will keep the minimum purchase price for rice stable this year, it said.

    Covid 19 outbreak is 'a very dangerous situation,' says UN chief

    The UN secretary general Antonio Guterres said the virus outbreak that began in China “is not out of control but it is a very dangerous situation, AP reported.

    Antonio Guterres said in an interview that “the risks are enormous and we need to be prepared worldwide for that."

    Guterres said a spread of the virus to countries with “less capacity in their health service" would require a great deal of international solidarity.

    Coronavirus fatal for elderly, patients with existing conditions, says study

    People infected with the novel coronavirus who are more than 80 years old have the highest chances of dying from infection of all age groups, according to the largest study.

    The study, published in the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology, revealed that a total of 1,023 deaths have occurred among 44,672 confirmed cases as of February 11, for an overall case fatality rate of 2.3%.

    According to the clinicians from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, majority of the patients were aged 30–69 years (77.8%), male (51.4%), farmers or labourers (22%), and diagnosed in Hubei Province (74.7%).

    The study noted that people with ages 80 and above had the highest case fatality rate of all age groups at about 15%.

    It said the death rate from the disease for males was 2.8% and that for females was about 1.7%.

    Situation critical in China, say evacuated Indian students

    "How's the Josh," Lieutenant Colonel Manjunath asked the students camped in India Army quarantine base in Manesar and their reply was: "High Sir". It resonated across 10 barracks they were kept in after returning from China's Wuhan, the groud zero of coronavirus.

    All 248 students kept at the quarantine base for last 14 days will head home today. Recalling the horrifying situation before they were air lifted and brought back, Sanjay, a student from Uttarakhand said: "The situation in China was critical."

    "It was a complete lockdown there and we were not allowed to go out of our houses. We were locked in the room for days," Sanjay said.

    "From 5 pm to 9 pm, we were not allowed to leave the premises back there. The Chinese authorities were deinfecting roads and entire area," said Rohit Tyagi, a PHD student of biological sciences at Huazhong Agriculture University.

    Australia to allocate $1.3 million to develop coronavirus vaccine

    The Australian government will allocate $1.3 million to develop a vaccine against the deadly new strain of coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19, Prime Minister Scott Morrison today

    "The government is fast-tracking $2 million in funding to support Australia's best researchers as they work to understand and respond to the outbreak of novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19. Our government's priority is to keep Australians safe and this $2 million investment will help develop a coronavirus vaccine," Morrison said in a statement.

    The Australia has so far confirmed 15 coronavirus infection cases across the country.

    China warns of sustained virus impact on poultry, eggs supply

    China's supply of poultry and egg products is likely to be hit in the second and third quarters as the coronavirus outbreak has had a severe impact on the industry, Reuters reported.

    China agriculture ministry said since the coronavirus outbreak, live poultry markets have been closed, transportation of baby poultry and live poultry has been curtailed and slaughterhouses have been shut down.

    The ministry said one company had reported losses of more than 100 million yuan ($14.27 million), but did not give further details.

    "The loss of the entire poultry industry would be very serious," the ministry added.

    Coronavirus infection cases hits 542 on cruise ship Diamond Princes

    Another 88 people aboard a cruise ship off Japan have tested positive for the coronavirus, AFP reported today, as those free of the disease hoped they were spending their last night on board before disembarking.

    The new cases take the total from the Diamond Princess to 542 — easily the biggest cluster outside the epicentre in China — as the cruise ship has proved an especially virulent breeding ground for the virus despite quarantine.

    Photo: Reuters
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    Photo: Reuters

    The new cases will be sent to specialised hospitals, the ministry said in a statement, without giving further details such as their nationalities.

    Shanghai virus hospital tries array of treatments

    Doctors at the medical centre are still treating 184 people, including 14 in critical condition. They are using a mix of methods including anti-viral medications, corticosteroids, blood plasma from recovered patients, and a healthy dose of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

    China to waive tariffs on US medical imports amid virus outbreak

    China will waive trade-war tariffs on imports of selected US medical equipment from 2 March, the government says, as the country battles to contain the new coronavirus epidemic.

    The move comes as doctors and nurses treating virus patients in China's overstretched hospitals struggle to deal with the health crisis amid a shortage of basic medical items.

    248 Indians cleared after coronavirus quarantine

    A total of 248 Indians, mostly students, suspected to be affected by coronavirus and who had undergone treatment at an Indian Army quarantine base in Manesar, are all set to return home.

    Japan targets HIV drug trials to combat virus

    Japan plans to trial HIV medications to treat patients infected with coronavirus as the growing number of cases poses an increasing threat to the country's economy as well as public health.

    Yoshihide Suga, the government's top spokesman, said at a briefing on they are "currently conducting preparations so that clinical trials using HIV medication on the novel coronavirus can start as soon as possible."

    Students in Shanghai not to return schools now, online education to start from March 2

    The Shanghai government has said that students will not return to schools now and the semester will start via online learning amid China's coronavirus outbreak.

    Online education for primary and secondary school students in Shanghai will begin on March 2, said Lu Jing, head of the Shanghai Education Committee, at a briefing on Tuesday.

    Shanghai had previously said schools would not reopen before the end of February.

    China's appetite for wildlife likely to survive virus

    For the past two weeks China's police have been raiding houses, restaurants and makeshift markets across the country, arresting nearly 700 people for breaking the temporary ban on catching, selling or eating wild animals.

    The scale of the crackdown, which has netted almost 40,000 animals including squirrels, weasels and boars, suggests that China's taste for eating wildlife and using animal parts for medicinal purposes is not likely to disappear overnight, despite potential links to the new coronavirus.

    A man holds a pangolin at a wild animal rescue center in Cuc Phuong, outside Hanoi
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    A man holds a pangolin at a wild animal rescue center in Cuc Phuong, outside Hanoi (Photo: Reuters)

    Traders legally selling donkey, dog, deer, crocodile and other meat told Reuters they plan to get back to business as soon as the markets reopen.

    "I'd like to sell once the ban is lifted," said Gong Jian, who runs a wildlife store online and operates shops in China’s autonomous Inner Mongolia region. "People like buying wildlife. They buy for themselves to eat or give as presents because it is very presentable and gives you face."

    ‘Extraordinary’ steps needed against virus, says South Korea

    South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in called for “extraordinary" steps to minimize the virus’s impact and said it was an emergency for the country’s economy. He offered no specifics on measures he’s considering to protect the economy, but said “every kind of step that can be taken by the government" must be taken.

    “An emergency situation warrants an emergency prescription," he told his Cabinet. Moon warned that the impact this time around could be bigger and longer-lasting than a 2015 epidemic that led the central bank to respond with a rate cut and authorities to enact $9.8 billion worth of extra budget.

    UK to evacuate its citizens home from cruise liner Diamond Princess

    The UK is the latest government to look at evacuating its nationals from the Diamond Princess, following Australia and South Korea.

    “Given the conditions on board, we are working to organize a flight back to the UK for British nationals on the Diamond Princess as soon as possible," a Foreign Office statement said. “Our staff are contacting British nationals on board to make the necessary arrangements. We urge all those who have not yet responded to get in touch immediately."

    32 Canadians aboard cruise liner reportedly infected

    Canada said 32 of its citizens aboard the stricken Diamond Princess have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a tweet from the Toronto Star.

    China offers tariff exemptions on US medical equipment

    China will accept applications for exemptions from trade-war tariffs on imports of US medical equipment from March 2, the government said Tuesday, as the country battles to contain the new coronavirus epidemic, AFP reported.

    Products that qualify include patient monitors, blood transfusion equipment and instruments to measure blood pressure, according to a list released by the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council.

    China arrests activist who criticised Xi over virus

    Police in China have arrested a prominent activist who had been a fugitive for weeks and criticised President Xi Jinping's handling of the coronavirus epidemic while in hiding, a rights group said Tuesday.

    Anti-corruption activist Xu Zhiyong was arrested on Saturday after being on the run since December, according to Amnesty International.

    China's ruling Communist Party has severely curtailed civil liberties since Xi took power in 2012, rounding up rights lawyers, labour activists and even Marxist students.

    The death this month of a whistleblowing doctor who was reprimanded by police for raising the alarm about the deadly new virus before dying of it himself triggered rare calls for political reform and freedom of speech.

    13 US citizens at 'high risk' of deadly infection being treated in Nebraska

    Thirteen US citizens deemed "high risk" for the deadly new coronavirus are being treated at a federally designated facility in the University of Nebraska following their evacuation from a cruise ship in Japan, AFP reported.

    A total of 338 Americans were flown home from the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan's Yokohama, touching down first at Travis Air Force Base in California shortly before midnight Sunday.

    Chinese health report says 80% of virus cases have been mild

    Health officials in China have published the first details on nearly 45,000 cases of the novel coronavirus disease that originated there, saying more than 80% have been mild and new ones seem to be falling since early this month, although it's far too soon to tell whether the outbreak has peaked, AP reported.

    Medical workers in protective suits attend to novel coronavirus patients at the intensive care unit of a designated hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province
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    Medical workers in protective suits attend to novel coronavirus patients at the intensive care unit of a designated hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province (Photo: Reuters)

    The report from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention gives the World Health Organization a "clearer picture of the outbreak, how it’s developing and where it’s headed," WHO's director-general said at a news conference.

    China virus outbreak threatens global medicine supplies

    The world's pharmacies may face a shortage of antibiotics and other drugs if supply problems from China's coronavirus outbreak cannot soon be resolved, the head of a European business group in China warned today.

    EU Chamber of Commerce President Joerg Wuttke added that Beijing was making supply chain problems worse with a mandatory quarantine of arrivals from abroad as it battles the virus, which has killed more than 1,800 Chinese mainly in the central province of Hubei.

    Photo: Mint
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    Photo: Mint

    Calling the measure unreasonable and against WHO guidelines, he told a roundtable in Beijing it would "cause more harm to business than many of the other things".

    Companies are also running out of packaging material and face challenges with regulatory uncertainties, he said.

    Japan plans HIV drug trials for deadly infection

    Japan plans to trial HIV medications to treat patients infected with coronavirus as the growing number of cases poses an increasing threat to the country's economy as well as public health, Reuters reported.

    Yoshihide Suga, the government's top spokesman, said at a briefing on Tuesday that the government is "currently conducting preparations so that clinical trials using HIV medication on the novel coronavirus can start as soon as possible."

    Suga said he couldn't comment on how long it would take for the new drug to be approved.

    Wuhan hospital director dies of deadly infection

    The head of a leading hospital in China's central city of Wuhan, the epicentre of a coronavirus outbreak, died of the disease today morning, state television said, becoming the second prominent Chinese doctor to have succumbed to the pathogen.

    Liu Zhiming, the director of Wuhan Wuchang Hospital, died at 10:30 am., it said.

    Earlier this month, millions in China mourned the death of Li Wenliang, a doctor who was previously reprimanded for issuing an early warning about the coronavirus.

    Tens of thousands of medical workers have been fighting to contain the spread of the coronavirus, believed to have first surfaced in a seafood market in Wuhan, the capital of the central province of Hubei.

    Japan completes virus testing for quarantined ship

    All passengers and crew on board a ship quarantined off Japan have now been tested for the new coronavirus, the government said today, as more countries moved to evacuate citizens from the boat, AFP reported.

    South Korea became the latest to announce it would remove its citizens from the Diamond Princess, where more than 400 people have tested positive for COVID-19.

    Japan has faced criticism for its handling of the situation, with dozens of new infections detected almost daily since the ship arrived in early February.

    India likely to discharge all Wuhan evacuees quarantined at ITBP camp today

    Two hundred people, who tested negative for coronavirus infection, in quarantine at ITBP Chahwla Camp after being evacuated from Wuhan in China, are set to be discharged on Monday night. The rest may leave the camp by Tuesday evening.

    The ITBP's Chahwla Camp is hosting 192 female and 204 male evacuees from Wuhan.

    Indian minister for Health and Family Welfare Harshvardhan visited the ITBP facility on Monday and met the people in quarantine and ITBP doctors and staff.

    7 Maldivians, evacuated from China, set to go back home today

    Seven Maldivian nationals evacuated from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan were discharged from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)-managed quarantine facility in Chhawla on Monday night.

    Having tested negative for coronavirus, all seven Maldivians will be departing for their homeland on Tuesday.

    The seven Maldivians had arrived in India alongside 323 Indians on a special Air India flight which had been sent to China as part of an evacuation operation undertaken by the Indian government.

    Immediately upon their arrival in the national capital, the Maldivians and the Indians were sent to quarantine facilities run by the Indian Army and ITBP, where they stayed for a period of more than two weeks.

    South Korea to evacuate its citizens from Diamond Princess

    South Korea said it is in discussions with Japan to send a presidential jet to evacuate its citizens from the stricken Diamond Princess cruise line later today. The ship has been anchored at Yokohama port.

    There are 14 South Koreans aboard, including five crew members, and no reported cases of coronavirus among them yet, broadcaster YTN reported.

    It comes the day after Australia said it would use a Wednesday chartered flight to evacuate some 200 citizens and permanent residents who have been stranded on the ship.

    Damage caused by virus resembles SARS, MERS: Doctors

    Doctors studying a 50-year-old man who died in China last month from the new coronavirus found that the disease caused lung damage reminiscent of two prior coronavirus-related outbreaks, SARS and MERS.

    Photo: Reuters
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    Photo: Reuters

    China tightens internet access, blocks VPNs

    China is tightening access to the global internet by blocking popular virtual private networks, or VPNs. Beijing often clamps down on the services, which allow Chinese internet users to reach walled-off sites like Google and Twitter, during politically sensitive periods. “Our team continues to work around the clock to address the new escalation in blocks in China," ExpressVPN, one of the largest services, wrote on its public website Tuesday.

    Diamond Princess disembarkation to begin today

    Japan has taken test samples from all passengers aboard the Diamond Princess, health minister Katsunobu Kato said at a briefing in Tokyo. Disembarkation will start on Wednesday and is expected to be completed by Friday, he said, adding that the ship’s crew would also be tested.

    Photo: AP
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    Photo: AP (Photo: AP)

    Apple to miss revenue forecast as iPhone supply hit by coronavirus

    Apple is to miss its revenue forecast for the March quarter due to the coronavirus epidemic, the US tech giant said Monday, warning that iPhone supplies worldwide would also be impacted, underlining the economic cost of the health crisis.

    The virus has sparked global economic jitters, travel bans and the cancellation of high-profile sporting and cultural events.

    Photo: Reuters
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    Photo: Reuters

    "We are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated," Apple said in a statement.

    "As a result, we do not expect to meet the revenue guidance we provided for the March quarter."

    Apple had forecast revenue of $63 billion to $67 billion for the second quarter to March.

    It said that worldwide iPhone supply would be "temporarily constrained" as its manufacturing partners in China were only slowly ramping up work after being closed due to the virus.

    Consumer demand in the crucial Chinese market has also been dampened after all Apple stores were shut.

    Singapore Airlines to reduce flights across network due to virus impact

    Singapore Airlines today said it will temporarily cut flights across its global network in March, April and May due to weaker demand as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.

    Destinations that are among those with services reduced include Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, Jakarta, Sydney and Mumbai, the airline said on its website.

    The airline had already announced major cuts to flights to mainland China and Hong Kong.

    Hong Kong increases funds to tackle outbreak to $3.6 billion

    Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on today the government would increase handouts to tackle the coronavirus outbreak to $3.60 billion) from HK$25 billion pledged previously, to ease the impact on the Chinese-ruled city's battered economy.

    Lam last week had said the government would give one-off payments to businesses across the city and the Hospital Authority.

    WHO warns against blanket measures over the deadly infection

    The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday warned against "blanket measures" over the novel coronavirus outbreak, pointing out the epidemic outside of China was only affecting a "tiny" proportion of the population.

    WHO also said that — with a mortality rate of around 2% -- COVID-19 was "less deadly" than other coronaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

    WHO officials rejected the suggestion that all cruises should be halted to avoid risking a new nest of infection like the one on the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess off Japan.

    India to start screening along Mizoram-Tripura border from tomorrow

    The Indian state Mizoram will start the process of screening people entering the state via its border with Tripura from Wednesday, amid fears arising out of novel Coronavirus (nCov) outbreak, a senior official said.

    Screening counters have been set up at the police checkgate in Kanhmun village, where a medical team, along with volunteers of the Young Mizo Association, has been deployed.

    China virus death toll passes 1,800

    The death toll from China's new coronavirus epidemic jumped past 1,800 on Tuesday after 93 more people died in Hubei province, the hard-hit epicentre of the outbreak.

    In its daily update, the province's health commission also reported 1,807 new cases, a smaller number of infections compared to those declared on Monday.

    Medical workers in protective suits attend to novel coronavirus patients at the intensive care unit of a designated hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province
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    Medical workers in protective suits attend to novel coronavirus patients at the intensive care unit of a designated hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province (Photo: Reuters)

    The new cases mean more than 72,300 people have now been affected across the country.

    Most of the cases are in Hubei, where the virus first emerged in December before spiralling into a nationwide epidemic.

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    Published: 18 Feb 2020, 09:20 AM IST
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