'Draconian' travel curbs needed to halt spread of virus: scientists

'Draconian' travel curbs needed to halt spread of virus: scientists

'Draconian' travel curbs needed to halt spread of virus: scientists

Gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. advised staff to work from home until February 7, and e-commerce firm Alibaba removed vendors' offers of overpriced face masks from its online Taobao marketplace as prices surged.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha spoke Monday as public concerns rose after eight cases of the virus had been confirmed in the country, seven of them visitors from China and one Thai.

January 24: The Chinese government reports over 830 infections, and the number of causalities rises to 26. 5 cases in Hong Kong and 2 in Macao have been reported.

The United States, Nepal, France, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan confirm cases over the following days. Chinese authorities have put Wuhan under a lockdown, and impose sever curbs on movement in place in several other cities.

If the virus spread forces people to stay at home for a prolonged period in affected cities in China, retail consumption and demand for raw material for manufacturing are expected to decline.

Officials took an extra step Sunday to extend the Lunar New Year holiday three extra days to cut down on group gatherings.

There are no confirmed cases in Mongolia of the coronavirus cases that first surfaced in the central Chinese city of Wuhan and have now spread to at least a dozen countries.

Many Chinese netizens were incensed by what they perceived as a series of errors at a televised press conference Sunday by three local officials at the heart of the new virus outbreak.

The US cases are in Washington, Chicago, Southern California and Arizona.

Universities, primary and secondary schools, and kindergartens across the country will postpone the start of the semester, said a State Council General Office circular.

The disruption to industry and consumer spending threaten to depress Chinese economic growth that Beijing is struggling to shore up after it sank to a multi-decade low of 6.1% previous year. The outbreak will affect all the China-based companies but the biggest impact will be on travel, hotels, and restaurants, according to forecasters.

Wendy Barclay, a professor and virologist at Imperial College London, said numerous respiratory viruses that spread among humans do transmit even in the absence of symptoms, and it would not be surprising if the new coronavirus also did.

The country's health minister, Ma Xiaowei, said the virus's ability to spread appears to be increasing as officials warn the virus is contagious before symptoms appear, making it hard to contain, the BBC reported.

A nine-month-old baby in Beijing was among those infected, authorities said, making her the youngest person to have been confirmed to have contracted the virus.

Calling the situation grave, Chinese President Xi Jinping said his government is taking the stock of the situation and rushing medical staff and supplies to Wuhan.

Griffiths, who co-chaired the SARS investigation for the Hong Kong government in 2003, said the Chinese authorities focus on protecting the public.

He said the German embassy is in touch with its citizens in Wuhan, which a spokeswoman said number about 90 people.

The new virus is part of the coronavirus family that includes the common cold but also more severe illnesses like SARS and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

On China's heavily censored social media, officials have faced mounting anger over the virus, which is thought to have come from a market where wildlife was sold illegally.

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