Economy

China reports 64 new coronavirus deaths, total at 425

Markets plunged by almost nine per cent in their first session since January 23, since when the outbreak has spiralled into a global crisis which has killed 361 people.

Outside China, there are more than 150 confirmed cases of the virus - and one death, in the Philippines.

What else did China say?

In a news briefing on Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the United States actions "could only create and spread fear" instead of offering assistance - saying it was the first country to impose a travel ban on Chinese travellers and the first to suggest a partial withdrawal of its embassy staff.

While countries have been trying to block the virus with travel bans, they have also been trying to get their stranded citizens out of locked-down Wuhan.

She said it was unreasonable for countries around the world to try to prevent people from crossing borders and urged foreign government to make "reasonable, calm and science-based judgements".

What measures has the USA taken? The husband fell ill after he returned home from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began.

Less than a week later, it allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency personnel and relatives of USA government employees from China.

Other countries are continuing evacuations and restricting the entry of Chinese or people who have recently travelled in the country.

Travel and tourism shares also plummeted after a series of governments and airlines imposed drastic restrictions to stop the spread of the virus.

It has since spread person-to-person throughout China and to more than 20 countries internationally. These include Egypt, Finland, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and Italy amongst others.

"China's response has been really remarkable and, quitely frankly, unprecedented", Dr. Carlos Del Rio, professor of medicine and global health at Emory University, told CNN.

Hong Kong shut nearly all of its land and sea border crossings with the mainland at midnight after medical workers began a strike demanding the border be closed completely.

How deadly is the virus?

Medical teams from the People's Liberation Army were arriving in Wuhan to relieve overwhelmed health workers and to staff the new 1,000-bed hospital.

The CDC says an epidemic is an "increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected in that population in that area". In a study published in the journal Nature, Shi Zhen-Li and colleagues at the Wuhan Institute of Virology reported that genome sequences from seven patients were 96% identical to a bat coronavirus.

The virus causes severe acute respiratory infection and symptoms seem to start with a fever, followed by a dry cough.

There is no need for measures that "unnecessarily interfere with worldwide travel and trade" in trying to halt the spread of the coronavirus that broke out in China, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday.



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