10.07pm EST


Here is a quick breakdown of where we are up to:

The number of confirmed deaths from China’s coronavirus outbreak has risen to 259, as authorities in hardest-hit Hubei province reported 45 new fatalities.
Cases of infection in China now stand at more than 11,790.
The Trump administration has declared a public health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak.
It has also announced it will temporarily bar entry to the US for people travelling from China unless they are Americans or immediately related to US citizens.
Two patients in England, who are members of the same family, have tested positive for coronavirus. They are being treated in Newcastle.
The Foreign Office said it was ‘aware of frustrations’ of Brits who had wanted to leave Wuhan but proved unable to board the evacuation plane.
Michael Gove told Sky News the government would send another plane to Wuhan to evacuate British nationals if needed.
Russia has reported its first two cases of coronavirus. Russia’s deputy prime minister Tatiana Golikova told reporters the infected people were Chinese citizens who had been isolated.
Australia now has 10 cases. The premier of Queensland has called on the government to stop planes arriving from China.
The plane carrying 83 Britons to the UK from Wuhan in China landed at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and the evacuees were driven to a facility on the Wirral where they will stay in quarantine for the next 14 days.
Thailand has recorded its first human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus after a taxi driver was apparently infected by a traveller.
The Trump administration has declared a public health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak. It has also announced it will temporarily bar entry to the US for people traveling from China.
A plan to evacuate Australians stranded in China is likely to go ahead over the weekend, the AAP news agency is reporting.

9.41pm EST

Agence France-Presse reports that African countries are scrambling to avert an outbreak of the rapidly spreading coronavirus strain, as health officials warn that the poorest countries are ill-equipped to combat the deadly disease.
Across the continent, governments have stationed nurses at airports to check for feverish passengers and have suspended Chinese entry visas, while ordinary people grow increasingly nervous.
There have been no verified infections in Africa to date, but deep trade links with China and often overstretched healthcare systems are raising concerns about the capacity to respond to an outbreak.

Passengers arriving from a China Southern Airlines flight from Changsha in China are screened at the Jomo Kenyatta international airport in Nairobi Photograph: Patrick Ngugi/AP

9.24pm EST

More from Annastacia Palaszczuk’s press conference:
“The community needs to be calm. There are only two confirmed cases but the number of cases in Australia is the same as in the United States.”
“Whatever action the federal government can take I implore them to take that action.”
“We need to take some immediate short-term measures.”

9.21pm EST

Annastacia Palaszczuk calls for ban on flights from China

Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Queensland premier, has called for more regular updates from the federal government.
“We do need more clear messaging to reassure Australians.”
She also wants a ban on incoming flights from China.
“I believe that the recommendations in relation to no more incoming flights until the virus is contained.”
“I don’t usually agree with Donald Trump,” she said. “But I do agree with the US authorities on this occasion that I think we should take every measure possible to combat this virus.”

at 9.29pm EST

9.16pm EST

In Australia, the Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is giving a press conference about the virus.
She has urged people not to discriminate against the Chinese community.
“Do the right thing and show respect,” she said.
She said she had been briefed by the chief health officer and Australia must contain the virus in the same way that the US is.
“All people returning from China need to self-isolate.”

9.12pm EST

Here is more information about the latest case in the Australian state of Victoria:
The Australian Associated Press reports that the woman aged in her 20s became ill two days after returning from Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, last Saturday.
She was not infectious on her flight back to Victoria and is recovering at home in isolation, as authorities wait for 13 other test results for the respiratory illness.

8.50pm EST

Biden criticises Trump over health cuts

The Associated Press report that Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden has criticized President Donald Trump for reducing US oversight of global health issues before the coronavirus outbreak.
“We have, right now, a crisis with the coronavirus,” said Biden. “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia – hysterical xenophobia – and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science.”
Biden said Trump had rolled back progress on global health oversight that occurred when he was vice president from 2009 to 2017.
In particular, he cited “draconian cuts” the White House proposed to the budgets of “the very agencies that we need to fight this outbreak,” including the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). A spokesman for Trump’s re-election campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

8.39pm EST

The Global Times, China’s Communist party-controlled tabloid, has tweeted out a video that purports to show drones telling people who are out in public without a face mask to go home and wash their hands.
It is quite the dystopian vision.

Global Times
Walking around without a protective face mask? Well, you can’t avoid these sharp-tongued drones! Many village and cities in China are using drones equipped with speakers to patrol during the #coronavirus outbreak. pic.twitter.com/ILbLmlkL9R

January 31, 2020

at 9.09pm EST

8.26pm EST

There has been a lot of misinformation about the coronavirus circulating online. We have debunked a lot of it here.
The latest unfounded rumour is that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been called off as a result of the virus, according to Japanese news site Mainichi.

8.15pm EST

The next round of talks on a global biodiversity treaty due to be held in the Chinese city of Kunming on 24 February will be moved to Rome as a result of a coronavirus outbreak, the United Nations announced.
The UN’s Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity said it had reached the decision after consultations with the Chinese government. Kunming is still set to host the main round of global biodiversity talks in October this year.

8.12pm EST

Infections surge to 11,791

China’s National Health Commission has said in its daily update that number of infections has risen by 2,102 to 11,791.

8.02pm EST

The Associated Press has spoken to some of the 200 Americans evacuated from Wuhan, one of whom said they were “very relieved’ to be quarantined at a military base in Southern California for two weeks.
“All of us really want to stay here and make sure were all medically clear and the public safe”, said Matthew L. McCoy, a theme park designer who lives in China.
So far there’s been no sign of illness among the group.
“We understand this action may seem drastic. We would rather be remembered for overreacting than underreacting,” said Dr Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

7.53pm EST

My colleague Nicola Slawson has spoken to an English teacher who has lived in Wuhan for the last four years. He described his long journey back to the UK after being evacuated on Friday.
Speaking from his room at Arrowe Park Hospital, Wirral, where he and 82 other Britons will be quarantined for two weeks in NHS staff accommodation, he said he was “very tired” after a 30 hour journey but grateful to have been evacuated.
The 32-year-old man, who asked not to be named, described the facilities where he was staying:
“It’s like being in a crap hotel or a student halls of residence. I haven’t actually asked but I suspect I’m not really supposed to come out here in the next 14 days. It’s alright though. It will be OK.”
Here is the full story:

7.45pm EST

Reuters is reporting that the northern Chinese city of Tianjin has ordered schools and non-essential companies to remain closed until further notice to curb the spread of the coronavirus that has already infected thousands in the country, a local government-run newspaper said.
Tianjin Daily, said the date when work and school could resume would be announced at a later stage, citing a local government committee responsible for controlling the epidemic.
Tianjin, which has a population of around 15 million and borders capital Beijing, had 32 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of 10pm local time on 31 January.

7.41pm EST

Hello and welcome to our coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.
Here is a quick summary of where we are up to:

The number of confirmed deaths from China’s coronavirus outbreak has risen to 258, as authorities in hardest-hit Hubei province reported 45 new fatalities.
Cases of infection in China now stand at more than 11,000
The Trump administration has declared a public health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak.
It has also announced…

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