A new coronavirus has killed at least 41 people in China and infected more than one thousand, Chinese officials have reported.
An unprecedented 36 million people are under lockdown in China .
But it is not clear just how lethal this coronavirus is, or even whether it is as dangerous as ordinary flu, which kills tens of thousands of people every year in the U.S. alone. Scientists say it is also not clear if it spreads as easily as SARS, its genetic cousin, which also originated in China and killed about 800 people in 2002-03.
0:40A background on the coronavirus and its symptomsA background on the coronavirus and its symptomsThe rapid increase in reported deaths and illnesses does not necessarily mean the crisis is getting worse. It could instead reflect better monitoring and reporting of the newly discovered virus, which can cause cold- and flu-like symptoms, including cough, fever and shortness of breath, but can worsen to pneumonia.
“It’s still too early to draw conclusions about how severe the virus is because at the beginning of any outbreak you would focus more on the severe cases,” said Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the World Health Organization in Geneva. “And then maybe we are missing some mild cases because people will just be a little bit sick and will not have it tested. And they will recover.”
Story continues below advertisementAustralia, France confirm first cases of coronavirus as U.S. announces 2ndIn France, Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said that two infected patients had travelled in China and that France should brace for more such cases. A third case was announced in a statement from her ministry about three hours later.
“We see how difficult it is in today’s world to close the frontiers. In reality, it’s not possible,” she said. Buzyn said authorities are seeking to reach anyone who might have come in contact with the patients: “It’s important to control the fire as quickly as possible.”
In the U.S., the latest person confirmed to have the disease was reported to be doing well. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention likewise said it is expecting more Americans to be diagnosed with the virus.Still, “CDC believes that the immediate risk to the American public continues to be low at this time, but the situation continues to evolve rapidly,” said the agency’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier.
READ MORE:What are coronavirus symptoms? In mild cases, just like the common coldWith Chinese authorities afraid that public gatherings will hasten the spread of the virus, the outbreak put a damper on Lunar New Year. Temples locked their doors, Beijing’s Forbidden City, Shanghai Disneyland and other major tourist destinations closed, and people cancelled restaurant reservations ahead of the holiday, normally a time of family reunions, sightseeing trips, fireworks displays and other festivities in the country of 1.4 billion people.
Story continues below advertisementWuhan’s usually bustling streets, malls and other public spaces were unnervingly quiet and masks were mandatory in public. Shoppers emptied store shelves, stocking up for what could be an extended period of isolation. Karaoke bars, movie theatres and internet cafes around the region were shut down.
1:17WHO officials say ‘too early’ to declare coronavirus outbreak an international public health emergencyWHO officials say ‘too early’ to declare coronavirus outbreak an international public health emergencyWhile most of the deaths have been older patients, a 36-year-old man in Hubei died on Thursday.
The vast majority of cases have been in and around Wuhan or involved people who visited the city or had personal connections to those infected. About two dozen cases in all have been confirmed outside mainland China, nearly all of them in Asia: Hong Kong, Macao, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and Nepal.
Recalling the government’s initial coverup of SARS, many Chinese are suspicious of the case numbers reported by officials. Authorities have promised transparency.China’s cabinet, the State Council, announced it will be collecting information on government departments that have failed in their response to the outbreak, including “delays, concealment and under-reporting of the epidemic.”
Associated Press researcher Henry Hou and video journalist Dake Kang in Beijing and writer Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report. Read more: Globalnews.ca »
Trudeau has special message for kids across Canada
In a message to children across Canada, PM Trudeau says 'we all need to do our part to keep people safe, even when it's our special day.'
So, welcome to the Lunar Chinese Year of the RAT! Because Chinese officials are trustworthy to the point their own people flee to Canada by any means possible. COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA ARE LIARS! Wake up, 'Globalist'!
‘Too early’ to declare China coronavirus a public health emergency: WHOThe World Health Organization says that now is not the time to declare a public health emergency in the case of a coronavirus from China . to Just like SARS. 🤦♀️ 680CJOB Until it hits them in the face then they will declare it a public health emergency. smh to The key YET and just how much is the government hiding to protect themselves
Risk of Chinese coronavirus to Canadians low: Health MinisterFederal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says several people in Canada are being monitored for signs they may have contracted a coronavirus from China . The next news will be about the outbreak in Richmonds hospital in the birthing tourist section lol I hope she’s staking her job on this comment. No one realized SA a t
Several people in Canada being monitored for signs of coronavirus: Health ministerFederal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says several people in Canada are under observation for signs they may have contracted a coronavirus from China , but that the risk to Canadians remains low. Didn't just yesterday the feds said all was well? Well duh ... no kidding She is looking at a career change isn't she? A very ignorantly stupid woman.
Coronavirus case confirmed in Chicago, 2nd infection in U.S.Officials said the individual infected had travelled in recent weeks to Wuhan, the central Chinese city the epicenter of the outbreak. Things are looking horrific over in Wuhan :'( The patient flew from Wuhan to Chicago on January 13. She was not ill while traveling and health authorities do not think she spread the virus during that time. Health authorities say she has had limited close contacts since returning to Chicago.
Canadian public-health officials continue tests of coronavirus despite WHO not yet declaring emergencyWHO officials said it was too early to take that step because there is no evidence yet of sustained human transmission of the virus outside China so no more deep fried koala crisps? Ramp up the inspections! Don’t wait for it to be declared emergency. Be proactive! WHO JustinTrudeau please keep testing ! It’s already here for sure . It was reported too long after they knew about it in China !
Canadian health officials remain on high alert for coronavirus; still no confirmed casesOntario’s chief medical officer of health said that, unlike SARS, when China tried to conceal the extent of the outbreak, hampering the global response, Canada is prepared if coronavirus comes to this country The guy next to me on the bus did a really heinous fart. I'm sure he's dying of something. Is this a symptom of Corona Virus? I get rockin' gas from that too. Unconfirmed report of someone tested positive at an Etobicoke hospital BS, you can be sure there are cases...