Coronavirus: China Isolates 20 Million People, Cancels Spring Festival Celebrations

  • Chinese authorities announced the cancellation of the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) celebrations.
  • For the first time, the authorities have announced warnings and updates about the virus, unlike in 2002 and 2003 when the SARS virus spread.
  • Yesterday, the number of countries that took preventive measures increased.

The spread of the new Coronavirus has spiraled out of control in China with a reported 504 cases and 17 deaths. More cities with more than 20 million people have been isolated, including Wuhan, Huanggang, and Weizhou. Train services and long-distance buses have also been closed.

Coronaviruses are species of virus belonging to the subfamily Coronavirinae in the family Coronaviridae, in the order Nidovirales. There are seven known strains of human coronaviruses, including Wuhan Coronavirus.

In a step indicating the extent of panic over the spread of the new virus, the Chinese authorities announced the cancellation of the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) celebrations. Millions of people move between cities in one of the most important occasions in China and throughout the world. This would have complicated efforts to fight against the virus. Meanwhile, for the first time, the authorities have announced warnings and updates about the virus, unlike in 2002 and 2003 when the SARS virus spread.

Yesterday, the number of countries that took preventive measures increased, the last of which was Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. These countries imposed the isolation of all those coming to from China and quarantines in all ports and airports. A number of experts announced bad news that it was not possible to reach a vaccine for the epidemic.

Today, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization confirmed that developing a vaccine against the new Coronavirus that appeared recently will likely need at least a year, while they expected a global pandemic to shift in the coming years. The World Health Organization warned that this type of epidemic may happen and spread very quickly soon.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory disease of zoonotic origin caused by the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). No cases of SARS have been reported worldwide since 2004.

In the context of the precautionary measures, the World Heath Organization announced the extension of the emergency talks on Coronavirus. The Director-General of the United Nations Health Agency, Tedros Adhanum Gebresus, will convene an emergency committee on the virus under the International Health Regulations, with the aim of ascertaining whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of concern internationally. Recommendations will also be submitted to its management, while Malaysia announced the start of preparations to confront the virus.

The virus first spread in Wuhan, Hubei province, in central China, and reached other cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Macau and Hong Kong. It then began spreading globally, as it spread to the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore, where medical authorities revealed the first case of Coronavirus infection.

Both Russia and Britain announced that they have started to increase examination of arrivals from Wuhan and Singapore, and examination of all arrivals from China. Mexico has taken precautionary measures after discovering one infected person, as a number of African countries have introduced examination procedures at airports. Congo, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa have all taken other precautionary measures.

Referring to the negative effects of the spread of the disease on the exchange of trade between China and the outside world, scientists declared that the infection could be transmitted through goods coming from China if a sick person touched it.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site. 

 


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