How the world is responding to China virus outbreak

A SARS-like virus has claimed 17 lives since emerging on December 31 in a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

A SARS-like virus has claimed 17 lives since emerging on December 31 in a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Here is a rundown of the efforts by countries around the world to contain the outbreak, which has already been detected in Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.

– China –
* China has quarantined Wuhan, suspending public transport, closing roads and cancelling planes and trains to and from the city of 11 million people.

* Neighbouring Huanggang said it would suspend public transport and train services and people were told to not leave the city of 7.5 million.

* Beijing’s Forbidden City — which saw 19 million visitors last year — will be closed from Saturday. City authorities have also cancelled large-scaled Lunar New Year events, including popular temple fairs.

– Asia –
* In Thailand, officials have introduced mandatory thermal scans of passengers arriving at airports in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Krabi from high-risk areas in China.

* Hong Kong is on high alert, carrying out scans at the airport — one of the world’s busiest — and at other international land and sea crossings. Airline Cathay has suspended flights to Wuhan until 29 February. Tickets for high-speed trains to the city are no longer being sold.

* Taiwan has issued travel advisories and went to its second-highest alert level for Wuhan, recommending against all travel to the city.

* South Korea has urged citizens not to travel to Wuhan.

* Singapore’s airport, which receives 430 flights from China every week, started screening flights from Wuhan at the beginning of the month and this week extended the checks to all flights from China.

– Americas –
* The United States has ordered the screening of passengers arriving on direct or connecting flights from Wuhan, including at airports in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

– Middle East –
* Dubai Airport, one of the world’s biggest aviation hubs, said it would carry out thermal screening of all passengers arriving from China in “secured, closed gates at the airport”.

– Europe –
* The European Commission said it was following the situation “very closely” after the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control increased the risk of the virus entering the EU from low to moderate.

* Italy implemented temperature checks for passengers arriving from Wuhan to Rome’s Fiumicino airport. Many passengers arrived on Thursday from Wuhan wearing masks and were screened at a special health centre. All tests were negative.

* France is issuing advice on flights and at airports but is not yet installing mandatory checks.

* Russia’s health and sanitation watchdog strengthened checks at airports and other border crossings from China, its giant southern neighbour.

* British health officials introduced “enhanced monitoring” for the three weekly flights from Wuhan to London’s Heathrow. The measures could be expanded to other Chinese departure points if necessary.

– Africa –
* Nigeria said its Port Health service was on alert and had heightened screening measures at points of entry.

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