Coronavirus spreads to France, Australia, Malaysia; India tightens watch at 7 airports

China plans to stop interprovincial road transport to Beijing from January 26

By Banjot Kaur
Published: Saturday 25 January 2020
Empty streets in Wuhan, China. Photo: @WillySier / Twitter

France on January 25, 2020 confirmed three cases of infection by novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) — its first.  Australia and Malaysia too confirmed their maiden cases. In China, the total increased to 1,372. The death toll was at 41 — 38 of which were in Wuhan, the epicentre.

Two make-shift hospitals were being constructed in the city to tackle a huge rush of patients. Meanwhile, the new virus spread to all 23 Chinese. The China Daily cited a news source to report that the municipal authorities in capital Beijing have announced that all interprovincial road passenger transports would be suspended from January 24, 2020 to prevent the infection from spreading of the infection, the municipal authorities announced. 

More than 10 cities in the world’s most populous country are already under lockdown.

Outside China, five cases have been confirmed in Thailand, three each in Malaysia, France, Japan and Singapore; two each in South Korea, Macau, Vietnam and the United States and one each in Australia and Nepal.  

The government of Hong Kong has declared a medical emergency. Flights to and from Wuhan have been shut, schools have been closed, restrictions are in place even on high-speed rail network there. Five cases have been confirmed there so far. 

In India, 11 persons were under observation, according to a January 24 government press release. Four of them, however, had already tested negative.

The central government decided to send seven teams of its Health and Family Welfare Ministry to review what it described as “end-to-end preparedness”.

Multi-disciplinary teams were to be formed and sent to the states where thermal screenings were being done at seven major airports — New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi. The teams will review the screening, isolation wards at hospitals, personal protective equipment for medical personnel, etc. They will also check whether infection-control guidelines were being followed. 

Screenings were also started at 12 more airports, the ministry said on January 24.

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