Where Has the Wuhan Coronavirus Spread To?
(Minghui.org) The novel coronavirus first discovered in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, in December 2019 has killed at least 80 people and infected more than 2,744 around the globe as of January 26, 2020.
More than ten counties in Asia, Europe, and North America have also reported cases of the virus. All of the patients are from or have traveled to Wuhan recently.
No deaths have been reported outside of China.
People who have been infected may not initially show any symptoms of illness, though they may be spreading the virus.
Eight cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Hong Kong. Five of these people had taken high-speed trains to Hong Kong. As the number of possible coronavirus cases increases, Hong Kong has declared a state of emergency and is closing its schools for the next two weeks.
Five cases were also confirmed in Macao.
Outside of China, eight cases have been confirmed in Thailand. Except for one 73-year-old Thai woman who visited Wuhan, all of the other seven people are Chinese citizens. Thailand's health minister said that three people are still receiving treatments while the other five have been discharged from hospitals.
Japan's health ministry confirmed four cases of coronavirus on January 25. Three of the patients are Wuhan residents visiting Japan, while the fourth, a resident of Japan, was hospitalized on January 10 after visiting Wuhan several days ago.
Four cases were confirmed in Malaysia on January 26. All four people are Wuhan residents who were visiting Malaysia after stopping in Singapore. Malaysia's health minister confirmed that a woman in her 60s, a 2-year-old boy, and an 11-year-old boy are being isolated and treated. They are in stable condition. The fourth patient, a man in his 40s, entered Malaysia on a tour bus.
Singapore confirmed its fourth case of the virus on January 25. All four people arrived in the country from Wuhan one week ago. The newest patient began to cough and exhibited other symptoms on January 23 and two days later was confirmed to have been infected with coronavirus.
Korea confirmed a third case on January 26. The first case was confirmed on January 20 and concerned a 35-year-old woman who had flown in from Wuhan. The other two patients are male citizens of Korea who worked in Wuhan and returned to Korea a few days ago.
Taiwan has also confirmed four cases. The government suggested that its citizens do not visit Wuhan or the rest of Hubei Province. Taiwan also announced on January 24 that visitors from China, Hong Kong, and Macao must fill out a health survey at customs. Taiwan also prohibited the export of face masks for one month so its own citizens will have enough supplies.
Vietnam confirmed two cases of coronavirus on January 23. A Wuhan resident who visited Ho Chi Minh City passed the virus to his son. Both father and son are being treated and are in stable condition.
Nepal has one confirmed case. A 32-year-old man who was studying in Wuhan was found to have the virus upon returning to Nepal in early January. He had fever and difficulty breathing. The local hospital sent the patient's blood samples to Hong Kong for testing and it was confirmed on January 24 that he had the virus. He has since been discharged from the hospital upon making a full recovery. The Nepali government said that they have intensified monitoring of incoming visitors at airports and that they will follow up with passengers who are suspected of carrying the virus.
In the US, five cases had been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by Sunday afternoon.
The five patients are in Everett, Washington; Chicago, Illinois; Maricopa County, Arizona; Los Angeles County, California; and Orange County, California. All of them, who recently traveled to Wuhan, have been hospitalized and quarantined.
One case was confirmed in Toronto, Canada on Saturday. The patient is a man in his 50s who recently visited Wuhan.
Four cases have also been reported in Australia, including three in Sydney and one in Melbourne. All four people are from Wuhan. The authorities said they are contacting passengers who were on the same plane as the four and are expecting more cases to be identified in the next few days.
France is the first European country to report cases of the coronavirus. Three cases, in Paris and Bordeaux, have been confirmed as of January 24. All three patients had traveled to China in recent weeks and two of them are related.
Latest Developments of the Outbreak
The Independent, a prominent UK newspaper, published an article titled “Coronavirus reaches Europe as UK ‘hunts for 2,000 passengers who recently arrived from Wuhan’” on January 24. The report said that UK public health officials have been working with airlines to trace some 2,000 people who had entered the country from Wuhan in the last 14 days. According to the report, “Professor Paul Cosford, medical director at Public Health England, has said it is still 'early days' for the virus but admitted that it is 'highly likely' that cases of the new strain of coronavirus will be seen in the UK, after tests on more than a dozen people.”
The Telegraph, another UK newspaper, reported in a January 25 article on UK health officials' efforts to contain the virus in an article titled “Coronavirus: hunt for 2,000 travelers who flew from Wuhan to Britain in last fortnight.” The report also says that “Flights from Wuhan are currently suspended, but following a meeting of the government's emergency committee, Cobra, the Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Witty announced that a Public Health hub of seven clinicians will now be established at Heathrow to monitor people coming from other parts of China.”
Taiwan's epidemic control center held an urgent press release on the night of January 24, announcing two more confirmed cases of coronavirus, which brought the total number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to three. The Taiwan Tourist Bureau issued a travel ban from January 25 to 31, prohibiting tour groups from visiting any part of China. Individual travel to China is still allowed.
The two new Taiwan cases concern a Taiwan resident and a Wuhan resident. The Taiwanese is a man in his 50s who runs a business in China. He began to exhibit cold symptoms on January 20, while still in Wuhan. He took some medicine and no longer had fever and cough when he flew to Taiwan the next day. So he was not detected at customs, but his symptoms soon returned and he was found to have the virus on January 23 when he went to see his doctor. Since he had visited a dance club, without wearing a mask, from 4 to 6 in the afternoon of January 22, the government is calling on people who were at the club during that time to see their doctors as soon as they develop any symptoms.
The Wuhan resident is a woman in her 50s. She had flown to Taiwan on January 21 and sought medical care on January 23 when she developed fever. Upon being confirmed to have the virus, she immediately stopped her tour of Taiwan. None of her tourmates have shown any symptoms so far.
In order to prevent the virus from spreading further, Wuhan authorities announced at 2 a.m. on January 24 that they were locking down the entire city and banning all modes of transportation starting at 10 a.m. that day. A local newspaper reported, “There is still an eight-hour window for people to choose to leave the city if they wish to.”
A man named Yao Guangxiao posted a message saying that most official announcements were made before 2 a.m. and he didn't expect that the lockdown news would be issued at 2 a.m. He left Wuhan before the city was shut down, but he said he still has many family members in the city.
According to news circulated on WeChat, a popular Chinese social media platform, in the 22 days since the discovery of the virus, many people have flown out of Wuhan, including 43,000 to Haikou, 27,000 to Sanya, 5,600 to Bozhe, 59,000 to Beijing, 70,000 to Shanghai, 49,000 to Guangzhou, 37,000 to Shenzhen, 47,000 to Chengdu, and 22,000 to Chongqing. The data were reportedly from airline companies, and the cities mentioned are all metropolitan cities. One can imagine how many of the passengers were virus-carriers.
More cities in Hubei Province followed suit, putting about 56 million people under lockdown.
Agence France-Presse published an article titled “'This time I'm scared': experts fear too late for China virus lockdown” on January 24. The article reports, “China's bid to contain a deadly new virus by placing cities of millions under quarantine is an unprecedented undertaking but it is unlikely to stop the disease spreading.” The report cited Guan Yi, an expert on viruses at Hong Kong University, as saying, “I think we have passed the golden period of control and prevention.”
Guan Yi was the first to discover the SARS virus 17 years ago. This time, he brought a team to Wuhan on January 21, hoping to help contain the outbreak. He and his team left on January 23, the day before the lockdown. He said he's very concerned about the Wuhan virus' spread.