China: Authorities announce1,287 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by novel coronavirus

Chinese health authorities have announced 1,287 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), including 237 in critical conditions. The virus has claimed 41 lives in China, 39 in central Hubei Province alone.

Several Chinese provinces and municipalities including Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan have launched the highest level of public health emergency response. China’s State Council, that is, China’s cabinet has taken control of the containment efforts in these provinces. With no vaccine to offer, China’s top health body has advised hospitals to use a range of treatments – including traditional Chinese medicines.

China has also deployed its military doctors to help civilian doctors. AIR Correspondent in Beijing reports that till now, at least 13 cities in Hubei province have imposed a transport closure after Wuhan, the epicenter of the disease. The municipal governments asked those returning to Beijing from infected areas to stay home for 14 days and avoid going out. Like Wuhan, Beijing and many other cities, Shanghai has canceled all large-scale public events.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday stopped short of declaring the virus a global public health emergency, despite China’s climbing death toll. The virus has spread to Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, the United States, France and Australia as of Friday. schools across the country have been asked to not hold mass gatherings or examinations.

As the country is trying hard to fulfill the demand of masks and diagnostic kits in Wuhan hospitals, it is building a 1000 bed hospital in Wuhan on 6 acres area supposed to be completed in just about 10 days’ time. As per state-run Xinhua news agency, the hospital will be put into use by February 3 and is modeled on the one built in Beijing for the treatment and control of SARS.

A total of 6,000 taxis have been recruited in Wuhan city where public transit was suspended because of the new coronavirus to help residents commute. These will be managed by local residents’ committees. The local committees will also provide services such as delivering meals, vegetables and medicine.  Hubei province has also extended school holidays.

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