Egypt tourism companies scramble after Saudi suspends pilgrimage over coronavirus fears    Egypt reaches agreement with Eni, Naturgy over Damietta LNG plant    Tokyo organizers, government take offensive on virus threat    Bayern ponder Flick deal, Lewandowski absence    Turkey says discussing with Russia opening Syrian air space for drones: NTV    PM Abe asks all of Japan schools to close over coronavirus    Sudan celebrates Nile Day under theme of ‘joint investments on the river'    Iraq parliament delays vote on a new government over lack of quorum: State media    Mamluks' war with Ottomans: Rise of a civilisation, fall of another    New virus has infected 82,000 globally, caused 2,800 deaths    Iran reports 22 deaths from coronavirus; 141 infected    European stocks slide 2% as coronavirus spread    Mo Salah joins UNHCR in combating refugee illiteracy through Instant Network Schools    Parliament has worked on files for all former officials deferred for years: MP Salah Hassaballah    10th Hakawy International Arts Festival for Children to showcase diverse theatre programme    FRA approves capital hike of EGP 200m for CI Capital    Egypt's Sisi approves loan worth $14 mln to establish grain storage in Port Said    Tunisia approves government after months of deadlock    Egypt's Suez Canal post revenues to $5.8 billion in 2018/19    Turkey cuts off water supply to Syria's Hasakah city: report    Finance Ministry rejects SMEs law article amendments    NBE provides EGP 1bn credit facilities to Fiber Misr    GB Auto to discontinue Hyundai representation in Iraq    447% increase in mobile Malware attacks in Egypt: Kaspersky    Egypt's cabinet approves purchasing preventive equipment for Covid19    Sluggish Juventus slump to surprise defeat at Lyon    Military funeral for Mubarak amid regional, international absence    Tennis legend Maria Sharapova is retiring at 32    Egypt holds military funeral for former president Mubarak – Photos    Mankai halts China-Egypt textile park roadshow plans on coronavirus outbreak    Cultural geography ... sense of place in cinema and culture    Hosni Mubarak (1928-2020)    The Mubarak legacy    Is it time for Egypt to develop local English-language media outlets?    Controlling public assembly    The sound of a glitch    Freedom and diaspora in African cinema    Don't miss Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet concerts at the opera house    Mahathir strengthens power amid Malaysian political turmoil    First art exhibition taking place in Saudi Arabia features connection between Fellini and Picasso    Al Ahly, Zamalek play 2nd Cairo Derby in less than 96 hours    Amr Fahmy former CAF general-secretary, dies battling cancer    Cairo court acquits Mubarak's sons of stock market manipulation    Al Ahly play Zamalek for Egypt Super Cup in Abu Dhabi    Little Women on its way to become a classic    UEFA Champions League: defending champions Liverpool clash with Atletico Madrid    Egypt's Golden Age actress, Nadia Lutfi, dies at 83    Egypt's President Sisi pardons some prisoners on 25 Jan. Revolution anniversary    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





China corona virus claims sixth victim as holiday travel heightens infection risks
Published in Ahram Online on 21 - 01 - 2020

The death toll from the corona virus outbreak in China climbed to six On Tuesday as authorities reported a surge in new cases, with fears that hundreds of millions of people travelling for the Lunar New Year holiday will accelerate the infection rate.
Officials confirmed that the new mystery virus can spread between humans and said 15 medical staff have now been infected, stoking fears about an international pandemic and prompting airport authorities around the world to step up screening of travellers arriving from China.
The latest update on the outbreak that began in the central city of Wuhan sent shivers through financial markets, as the World Health Organization called a meeting for Wednesday to consider declaring an international health emergency.
The National Health Commission (NHC) put the number of confirmed cases at 291 by the end of Monday, but individual provinces gave more up-to-date information on Tuesday showing a widening geographic spread.
Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, has confirmed 258 cases and six deaths, Mayor Zhou Xianwang told Chinese state television on Tuesday.
The NHC said another 14 cases were reported in the southern province of Guangdong, five in the capital Beijing and another two in Shanghai by the end of Monday.
But on Tuesday, the virus was confirmed to spread to more parts of the country, with the eastern province of Zhejiang reporting five cases, and the northern city of Tianjin reporting two.
"Information about newly reported infections suggest there may now be sustained human to human transmission," WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Takeshi Kasai said in an email statement.
The scare brought back bad memories of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), another coronavirus that broke out in China in 2002/2003, resulting in the death of nearly 800 people in global pandemic.
Two cases have already been identified in Thailand, one in Japan and one in South Korea, while the Philippines reported on Tuesday its first suspected case.
Taiwan, the self-ruled island that China claims as its own, also confirmed its first case, a woman who had returned from working in Wuhan, on Tuesday.
Taiwan, which has close economic and people-to-people links with China despite political tensions, on Monday set up an epidemic response command centre to coordinate the island's response to the virus. More than 1,000 beds were prepared in isolation wards in case the virus spreads further.
The mounting anxiety was transmitted to regional markets. China's onshore yuan fell 0.6%, its biggest daily drop since Aug. 26, 2019, while airline and travel stocks fell across the region.
European shares also slipped on mounting concerns about the impact of the outbreak, with luxury goods firms particularly hard-hit on worries about weaker demand from Chinese consumers.
The virus can cause pneumonia, with symptoms including fever and difficulty in breathing. As those symptoms are similar to many other respiratory diseases, extra screening is needed.

Airport screening
The origin of the virus has yet to be identified, but the primary source is most likely animal, according to WHO. Chinese officials have linked the outbreak to a seafood market in Wuhan.
"The outbreak of a SARS-like coronavirus in Wuhan is developing into a major potential economic risk to the Asia-Pacific region now that there is medical evidence of human-to-human transmission," said Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific Chief Economist for IHS Markit, in an email statement.
So far, the WHO has not recommended trade or travel restrictions but such measures could be discussed at Wednesday's emergency meeting.
China's National Health Commission will also give an update on the outbreak at a press briefing at 10 a.m. (0200 GMT) on Wednesday.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China will attend the WHO meeting and share relevant information.
"China is willing to deepen its global cooperation and work with the international community to work together to deal with the epidemic," Geng told reporters at a regular daily briefing.
Airport authorities in the United States as well as most Asian nations also are screening passengers from Wuhan.
Australia on Tuesday said it would screen passengers on flights from Wuhan, while Singapore announced it would quarantine individuals with pneumonia and a history of travel to Wuhan within 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms.

Queues for masks
Wuhan officials have been using infrared thermometers to screen passengers at airports, railway stations and other passenger terminals since Jan. 14.
Zhong Nanshan, head of the National Health Commission's team of experts investigating the outbreak, said in footage shown by state television on Monday there was no danger of a repeat of the SARS epidemic so long as precautions were taken.
Images of long lines of people queuing to buy face masks were circulating widely on Chinese social media, where the outbreak was one of the top trending topics.
Some online vendors were limiting sales of masks and hand sanitizers as demand surged.
And Shanghai's market regulator warned on Tuesday that it will punish speculators who hoard masks and other products used for preventing diseases, according to the Shanghai Observer - a web publication backed by a Communist Party newspaper.
Trip.com, China's top online travel booking platform, said it would refund customers who cancel bookings in Wuhan this month, or whose travel plans are disrupted by quarantines or other regulatory efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.


Clic here to read the story from its source.