China says 25 people have died from the coronavirus as South Korea, Japan confirm second cases - CNBC - Canada News Media
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China says 25 people have died from the coronavirus as South Korea, Japan confirm second cases – CNBC



A Chinese passenger that just arrived on the last bullet train from Wuhan to Beijing is checked for a fever by a health worker at a Beijing railway station on January 23, 2020 in Beijing, China.

Kevin Frayer | Getty Images

China’s National Health Commission said as many as 25 people have died from a fast-spreading coronavirus, as the total number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 830.

The deadly pneumonia-like virus was first identified on Dec. 31 in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province. It has since spread beyond Wuhan, which has a population of 11 million, to other major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Macao, and Hong Kong.

China’s Finance Ministry said it has allocated 1 billion yuan ($145 million) to support Hubei province in its fight to contain the outbreak.

The city of Wuhan is also building a new 1,000-bed hospital to treat the infected and plans to have the facility operational by early next week, Reuters reported, citing state media.

Multiple cases of the virus have been confirmed in Thailand, Vietnam and Japan, while the United States, Taiwan and Singapore have each reported one case.

South Korea on Friday confirmed a second person has been infected. Japan’s health ministry also said it had confirmed a second person had been infected.

Sometimes referred to as the Wuhan virus, it has been temporarily named the “2019-nCoV.” It belongs to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses, which can be transmitted from person to person.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said at a press conference the outbreak did not yet constitute a global public health emergency.

“Make no mistake, this is, though, an emergency in China. But, it has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO. He added the organization’s assessment is that “the outbreak is very high-risk in China, and high-risk regionally and globally.”

Chinese cities under lockdown

As of Friday, eight cities were put under lockdown measures. Transportation services in Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, were shut down on Jan. 23 and people were asked to not leave. The airport and train station in the city were also temporarily closed.

Other cities under lockdown include Huanggang, Xiantao, Ezhou, Qianjiang, Zhijiang, Chibi and Lichuan. The combined population in those cities is approximately 24 million people. Authorities have also canceled Lunar New Year events in Beijing and other places. Airlines and rail operators are offering refunds on domestic flights and train tickets around the country.

The Wuhan virus outbreak is most frequently compared to the spread of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, between 2002 and 2003, when more than 8,000 people were infected. Around 800 people died in that crisis, according to the WHO.

Here’s a snapshot of the number of known cases and where they are:

846 confirmed cases (according to CNBC’s tally)
25 deaths

Number of confirmed cases:
Mainland China: 830
Taiwan: 1
Macao: 2
Hong Kong: 2
Vietnam: 2
Thailand: 3
South Korea: 2
Japan: 2
Singapore: 1
United States: 1

CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.

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No reported cases of coronavirus in Ottawa –



Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is bracing for the arrival of coronavirus, but so far no cases have been reported in this city.

Health officials have identified a second presumptive case in Toronto after the wife of a man believed to be Ontario’s first presumptive case of the virus began showing similar symptoms. Officials say the woman has been in “self-isolation” since arriving in Toronto, while her husband remains in stable condition in hospital.

Officials continue to identify people who may have come into contact with the couple on their flight from China, but OPH says it hasn’t been informed of any in Ottawa.

According to Ottawa’s medical officer of health, health officials here are already taking precautions.

“When people present with a respiratory illness … they are screened for their travel history, especially considering any contact with the Wuhan city or provinces nearby in China, any contact with ill people who have been in Wuhan,” Dr. Vera Etches told CBC.

“People are getting the message: when they return from a country or area that is affected, to monitor themselves for symptoms of a respiratory infection.” 

Symptoms includes fever, cough, runny nose and shortness of breath, Etches said.

Phone ahead

Etches said anyone who believe they may have been exposed to coronavirus and is showing symptoms should phone ahead before arriving at the emergency room.

“We’ll walk them through the process … if it looks like they should be tested for the new coronavirus,” Etches said.

So far, no tests have been ordered in Ottawa.

Dr. Vera Etches is Ottawa’s medical officer of health. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

“Right now, this is very low-risk still for transmission of this new virus in Canada. So, it’s very unlikely that someone would come in contact with the virus here,” she said.

Nevertheless, Etches cautions people to wash their hands frequently, and to refrain from touching their eyes and nose. Viruses are often contracted by coming into contact with mucous membranes.

Masks unnecessary

There have been reports of people in Ottawa buying up medical masks, likely to ship to family in China, but according to Etches, “here in Ottawa, there is no reason to wear a mask if you’re well.”

Wearing a mask likely won’t prevent a healthy person from getting sick anyway, Etches said.

“They’re not fitted. Air can get around them. People touch them, they touch their eyes, the environment. It gives a false sense of security. So really, the main thing is, keep your hands clean.” 

Etches also urges people to check reputable sources, such as the Ottawa Public Health website, for up-to-date information on coronavirus.

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Canada's second confirmed presumptive case of coronavirus is wife of first case – CTV News



TORONTO — The wife of the man identified as Canada’s first case of the Wuhan coronavirus has tested positive for the virus at Ontario’s public health laboratory, and has been in self-isolation since arriving in Toronto, according to Ontario health officials.

“When he went to the hospital, she had agreed to stay in self-isolation,” Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams told CTV’s Your Morning. 

Toronto Public Health has been in regular contact with the woman during her self-isolation period, officials said.

“Whether it’s novel coronavirus, influenza, other respiratory diseases, if you’re sick, stay home and don’t go out and socialize,” Williams added. “You can be out in public because it’s not widespread … The risk is very low for Ontarians.”

The news comes after the province announced Canada’s first “presumptive positive” case of the coronavirus on Saturday, in a 50-year old man who recently returned to Toronto from Wuhan. He displayed mild symptoms on the flight and went to the hospital a day later as symptoms worsened. He is in stable condition and being kept in isolation at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

Officials are following protocols and trying to contact passengers on China Southern Airlines flight CZ311 from Guangzhou, China, who were in close proximity to the couple. The couple’s flight landed at Pearson International Airport at 3:46 p.m. on Jan 22. 

Williams said the entire plane was not at risk because it’s a “droplet-spread organism.”

Samples from both individuals have been sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg for full confirmation. There are 21 cases under investigation, Williams said, with 15 ruled out as negative so far.

An outbreak of the virus that began in Wuhan, China has killed 81 people so far, with more than 2,700 cases confirmed as of midnight. A total of 17 cities in China are on lockdown, limiting the movement of more than 50 million people during what is normally the world’s busiest travel period due to the week-long Lunar New Year holiday. 

The country has extended the holiday in an effort to keep the public at home. Many large public events and gatherings have been cancelled, while a number of major tourist sites including The Forbidden City and Shanghai Disneyland have closed until further notice.

Canada does not have a consular presence in Wuhan, but the Minister of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne said Canadians are advised to avoid non-essential travel to theChinese province of Hubei due to the heavy travel restrictions currently in place.

“We understand the concerns of Canadians in the region and those of their families and loved ones. We are in contact with and providing assistance to Canadians currently on the ground,” Champagne said in a statement.

There are currently 67 Canadians in Hubei province who have registered with the voluntary Registration of Canadians Abroad service, according to a government source, but because the registration is voluntary, the numbers are not a complete picture of how many Canadians are in the region or in China.

Canadians who need emergency consular help can contact the Embassy of Canada in Beijing at 86 (10) 5139-4000. Canadians can also call the department’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 or email

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Ontario Confirms Second Presumptive Case of Wuhan Novel Coronavirus – Government of Ontario News



Wife of First Case, Now Confirmed Positive, has been in Self-Isolation

TORONTO — Today, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, confirmed that the wife of the province’s first case of Wuhan novel coronavirus has tested positive for the virus at Ontario’s public health laboratory. Since arriving in Toronto with her husband, this individual has been in self-isolation.

“We are working alongside Toronto Public Health, who has been in regular contact with the individual during their self-isolation period,” said Dr. Williams. “Given the fact that she has been in self-isolation, the risk to Ontarians remains low.”

Dr. Williams, joined by Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto, will provide an update on the emerging situation at 11:30 a.m. at Queen’s Park. A media advisory will be issued shortly with further details.

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