Coronavirus spreads to 16 countries, India asks its citizens not to travel to China

6,078 cases of infection and 132 deaths have been confirmed

Last Updated: Wednesday 29 January 2020

Even as China struggles to contain the coronavirus, countries around the world are advising their citizens not to travel to the country. Till January 29, 2020, Chinese officials had confirmed 6,078 cases of infection and 132 deaths. Most of the infections and deaths have taken place in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, which is the epicentre of the disease.

The Indian government upgraded the travel advisory on January 29 and said all non-essential travel to any part of China must be avoided. Earlier, it had advised about avoiding travel to Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak and avoiding contact with infected people during travel to other cities in the country.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also changed its advisory to the highest level on January 28 and asked US citizens not to travel to China if it was not essential. Both, the CDC and the European Centre for Disease Control, in their latest dispatches to the media have said that they expect the number of cases to go up in the US and Europe, although the risk assessment is still not high in their respective jurisdictions.

The Indian government, as well as that of the US and France are also in talks with Chinese authorities to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan. This city in Hubei province, which is under lockdown for several days, has so far registered 1,905 cases.

Meanwhile, at least 16 countries have reported that the coronavirus has reached their shores. Thailand, at 14, has the highest number of cases outside China. Hongkong and Taiwan have eight cases each. India's neighbours Sri Lanka and Nepal have reported a case each.

The Imperial College of London estimates, however, that the total number of cases in Wuhan itself might be 4,400. The World Health Organziation and the Imperial College of London have said that the human-to-human transmission of the virus is sustained. That is, the virus is not going to die down after infecting one person which happens in such transmission.

Various estimates have suggested that the R0 number of the virus, that is the number of persons who can be infected by one infected person, is 2.6.

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