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Coronavirus updates: The latest news on the outbreak and the global response

By newadmin / Published on Sunday, 02 Feb 2020 15:11 PM / Comments Off on Coronavirus updates: The latest news on the outbreak and the global response / 8 views


• First death outside China reported in the Philippines

• Confirmed cases in China grow to 14,412 with 304 deaths

• 8th case confirmed in the U.S., 1st in Massachusetts

• Four U.S. military bases approved for quarantine housing

• South Korea to bar foreign travelers from China’s Hubei Province


Department of Defense approves request for quarantine housing

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has approved the use of four military bases to house 1,000 people who may need to be quarantined after returning to the U.S. from overseas travel due to concerns about the novel coronavirus, which has sickened thousands and killed more than 300 people in China.

Four military bases — in Colorado, California and Texas — have been approved to assist with the evacuations if needed, a spokesman for the department said.

“Department of Defense personnel will not be directly in contact with the evacuees and evacuees will not have access to any base location other than their assigned housing,” the spokesman noted.

As of Friday, nearly 1,000 people had requested U.S. government assistance to leave Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the situation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday that all 195 Americans who have already evacuated from Wuhan earlier this week are now under federal quarantine for 14 days at March Air Reserve Base in California. — Yuliya Talmazan and Mosheh Gains

South Korea to bar foreigners traveling from China’s Hubei province

South Korea will bar foreigners who have been in China’s Hubei province in the past two weeks from entering the country.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told members of his cabinet the entry ban will take effect on Tuesday.

“Seoul government’s top priority is our people’s life and safety and accordingly, we will enforce measures to stop further novel coronavirus from entering our land and spreading throughout regional communities,” he said.

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The city of Wuhan where coronavirus is believed to have first emerged, is in the Hubei province. Most of the deaths have occurred there. — Stella Kim

First coronavirus death outside China reported in the Philippines

The first death outside China connected to the respiratory illness has been confirmed in the Philippines, the World Health Organization said Saturday.

The country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte, responded by banning travel from the island nation to China.

The deceased was described as a 44-year-old resident of Wuhan, who had traveled to the Philippines, WHO Philippine officials said at a news conference. — Dennis Romero and Eric Baculinao

8th case of coronavirus confirmed in U.S., 1st in Massachusetts

A man in his 20s who lives in Boston and was returning from Wuhan has the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Massachusetts and the 8th in the U.S. overall.

The man recently traveled to Wuhan and sought medical care soon after his return to Boston, the Massachusetts Department of Health announced Saturday.

“He has been isolated since that time and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials,” the department said, adding that his few close contacts have been identified and are being monitored for any signs of symptoms.

“We are grateful that this young man is recovering and sought medical attention immediately,” said the state’s public health commissioner, Monica Bharel. “Again, the risk to the public from the 2019 novel coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts.” — Minyvonne Burke

More British nationals fly into U.K. from Wuhan

Eleven more British nationals will arrive in the U.K. from Wuhan Sunday after missing a first evacuation flight on Thursday, Britain’s Sky News has reported.

They will be flown into the U.K. via France.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Sky News: “It’s correct that there is a further French flight that is expected back in Europe today and that will carry some U.K. nationals.”

The initial contingent of 83 British citizens are currently being quarantined in Birkenhead, a town in the north of England.

Two German nationals who arrived from Wuhan test positive

Officials in the German city of Germersheim, where 115 people were put under quarantine after arriving on an evacuation flight from China on Saturday, told NBC News that two people out of the group have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The two adults are being brought to a hospital in Frankfurt.

All others will remain under a 14-day quarantine at a military installation in Germersheim. — Andy Eckardt

Italy to evacuate 67 nationals from Wuhan

The Italian government and air force officials said 67 of its nationals living in Wuhan will be evacuated on a special flight bound for Rome Monday.

Following the confirmation of the first two cases of coronavirus in Italy Thursday, the Italian government declared a six-month state of emergency.

All flights between Italy and China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taipei have been suspended until at least April 28, the country’s foreign ministry announced Friday. — Claudio Lavanga

Apple closes all offices, stores and contact centers in mainland China

The tech giant said Saturday it will be closing all of its offices, stores and contact centers in mainland China “out of an abundance of caution and based on the latest advice from leading health experts.”

The measure will be in force until Feb. 9, the company said, adding that it “looked forward” to reopening its stores as soon as possible.

Apple’s online store in China remains open. — Yuliya Talmazan