Coronavirus Update

Jan 30, 2020

On 29 January 2020, the number of confirmed global cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) rose to 6,145, of which 6,065 cases are reported across China. The latter figure now the number of individuals infected by the 2002-03 SARS epidemic within the country. Thus far, a total of 132 individuals have died from the coronavirus. Health officials are attempting to learn more detailed information about the virus, such as what animal sources it originated from and whether it can spread while there are no symptoms. In a departure from the approach to the SARS epidemic, Chinese officials have been transparent since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, and have agreed to accept assistance from experts at the World Health Organization (WHO).

Many countries are curtailing flights to China. U.S. carrier United Airlines has suspended several flights to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai from 1-8 February, while British Airways is suspending all flights to and from mainland China for an undetermined period of time. Indonesia’s Lion Air is also suspending flights to China. Additionally, the Papua New Guinea government has banned all travelers from Asian ports from entering the country amid coronavirus concerns.

An increasing number of countries are conducting checks on travelers from China. The U.S. is opening 15 additional quarantine stations, marking a total of 20 stations in operation — including in Anchorage, Alaska; Boston, Massachusetts; Dallas, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; El Paso, Texas; Honolulu, Hawaii; Houston, Texas; Miami, Florida; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; San Diego, California; Seattle, Washington; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and one along the U.S.-Mexico border. Singaporean authorities are opening quarantine facilities, increasing border checks and instituting a compulsory leave of absence for students and teachers from China. Ukrainian authorities are now screening incoming passengers for symptoms of coronavirus. Additionally, Indian authorities have begun screening individuals arriving via land routes from Nepal.

Some countries — including France, Germany, Japan, Morocco and South Korea — are evacuating or have already evacuated their nationals from Wuhan. The U.S. is evacuating its consular personnel and a limited number of private citizens from the city; however, many evacuated citizens of these countries are being placed in quarantine upon their return.

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