BEIJING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua / EP) –
The National Health Commission of China has raised this Sunday to 56 those killed by the outbreak of the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and 1,975 confirmed cases, including 324 that are in critical condition.
In addition, China's health authorities have alerted 2,684 suspected cases that are being investigated.
This adds to the fact that the French authorities confirmed on Friday their first three cases of the new coronavirus, the first recorded in Europe. The US Government, for its part, confirmed that there is a second infected patient in the country.
There are also records of two cases in South Korea and two in Japan, Hong Kong, Macao and Vietnam. One has been registered in Taiwan, just like in Singapore. In addition, three cases have been registered in Thailand, but two of them have already been cured, the same number as in Malaysia, to which one case is added in Australia and another in Canada.
The World Health Organization (WHO) resolved that it is “too early” to declare the international public health emergency following the outbreak of coronavirus, although it has warned that in China it does constitute an emergency.
The Chinese government decided to completely close Wuhan, a port city with 11 million inhabitants where the outbreak began. Flights and train lines have been canceled, as well as the bus and ferry service.
The Chinese authorities also expanded travel restrictions to several nearby cities such as Huanggang, Ezhou, Chibi and Zhijiang, which include complete or partial closures of public transport and affect millions of people within days of the Lunar New Year celebration. Traditionally, the festivities mobilize thousands of people inside and outside the country.
Beijing and other major cities announced that they will cancel New Year's celebrations to avoid contagion.
About 30,000 people fly daily from Wuhan, according to official data. In total about 29 Chinese provinces have registered cases of the disease, some 5,897 contacts with sick people have been supervised by the authorities, of which 4,928 are still under medical surveillance.
The new coronavirus is 80 percent similar to the acute and severe respiratory syndrome virus (SARS) that caused an outbreak in 2003 that affected 8,098 people and killed 773, mainly in China, according to information published by the National Data Center Genomics of China (NGDC).
In addition, the president of China, Xi Jinping, personally assumed command of the operations to respond to the outbreak of the coronavirus declared in the center of the country. “Life is of the utmost importance. When an epidemic breaks out, an order is issued. It is our responsibility to prevent and control it,” Xi said during an emergency meeting of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China (CCP).