The novel coronavirus outbreak is evolving at a dizzying speed with the number of confirmed cases nearing 12,000 since it was first detected in China’s Wuhan city early December.
The deadly virus has so far spread to at least 26 countries, including China, Germany, Australia and the United States. The virus has claimed 259 lives, all in China and almost all in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital. The outbreak was first reported to the World Health Organization by Chinese officials on December 31 in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in Hubei province.
What is coronavirus
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that typically attack the respiratory system, sometimes targeting the cells deep within the lungs. The name coronavirus comes from the Latin word corona, meaning crown or halo, because of the spiky fringe that encircles these viruses. These viruses were originally transmitted between animals and humans.
Most of the viruses infect animals, such as bats, cats, and birds. Only seven, including 2019-nCoV, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), are known to infect humans.
What are the symptoms
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Most patients start with fever, cough, and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the most common symptoms are fever, cough, muscle pain, and fatigue; less common symptoms are headache, diarrhea, and coughing up mucus or blood.
How coronavirus is transmitted
The new coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person, mainly through close contact with an infected person via particle in the air from coughing or sneezing, or by touching droplets on surface (with virus on it) – and then touching mucosal membranes in the mouth, eyes and nose.
Where has coronavirus spread so far
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus infections is increasing across the world. Almost 12,000 cases of the new virus have been confirmed, with 149 confirmed cases outside of China. In China, at least 259 people have died and 11,791 people have been infected since it emerged in December.
Countries with confirmed cases so far:
Australia – 9 , Cambodia – 1, Canada – 3 , China – 11,791, France – 6, Finland – 1, Germany – 7, India – 1, Italy – 2 , Japan – 16, Malaysia – 8, Nepal – 1, Philippines – 1, Russia – 2, Singapore – 16, South Korea – 11, Spain – 1, Sri Lanka – 1, Sweden – 1, Taiwan – 10, Thailand – 19, United Kingdom – 2, United States – 6, United Arab Emirates – 4, Vietnam – 5
WHO declares coronavirus a global health emergency
World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Coronavirus a global health emergency on January 31, as the outbreak of the contagious disease continues to spread beyond China.
324 Indians flown back from China
324 Indians were brought back from the coronavirus-hit Wuhan city on Saturday, February 1. Six passengers were offloaded as they had high temperatures.
Of the 324 Indians who returned on Saturday, three were minors and 211 students.
The evacuated Indians have been quarantined in Special facilities in Haryana’s Manesar and Delhi. They will be observed for two weeks by a team of doctors and medical personnel. A total of 104 Indians have been admitted to an ITBP facility in New Delhi.
Travel restrictions to and from China
With the increase in the confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, several countries have announced travel ban to and from China.
- The United States and Australia have temporarily banned foreign nationals who have traveled to China within the last 14 days.
- Vietnam has declared to stop all flights to and from China. Vietnam also said it would stop issuing visas for foreigners who had been in china in the past 14 days.
- Iran has temporarily banned flights to and from China.
- Uzbekistan is suspending flights to and from China
- Singapore and Russia have sealed their borders to all travellers from China
- Mongolia suspended all flight arrivals from China until March 2
- Israel barred all flight connections with China
- Guatemala bars entry to people who had been to China in the past 15 days