Coronavirus: China builds hospital in 10 days

Henrietta Brewer
February 4, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday confirmed the second person-to-person transmission of novel coronavirus in the USA, marking the tenth and eleventh cases of the pneumonia-like illness in the country.

Outside mainland China, at least 180 cases have been confirmed, including two fatalities, in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

With Wuhan and some other cities in virtual lockdown, travel severely restricted and China facing increasing global isolation, fears of wider economic disruption are growing; sources at the OPEC oil cartel said producers were considering cutting output by nearly a third to support prices.

The commission added that 2,788 patients remained in severe condition, and 23,214 people were suspected of being infected with the virus. The last one was in connection with a smallpox outbreak.

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

The patient was a Chinese national from Wuhan city, where the virus was first detected. If symptomatic, they will be housed near the airport and quarantined for 14 days.

The Hongshan Gymnasium, Wuhan International Conference and Exhibition Center and a cultural building complex dubbed "Wuhan Livingroom" will be turned into hospitals with a total of 3,400 beds, according to the headquarters.

Robert Webster, an infectious-disease expert at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, told The Associated Press on Sunday that "it sounds and looks as if it's going to be a very highly transmissible virus". Television footage of those facilities showed beds placed in tight rows in large rooms without dividers or any barriers to keep patients isolated.

Xi presided over a special meeting of the top Communist Party body for the second time since the crisis started, telling the Politburo standing committee on Monday the country must race against time to curb the spread of the virus.

All Hubei schools are postponing the start of the new semester until further notice.

During the telebriefing, Messonnier stressed that there's likely to be more cases of person-to-person transmission of coronavirus in the US, which is awaiting the test results of some 82 suspected cases.

The virus, which originated in Wuhan, is said to have been transmitted to humans from animals, particularly bats.

This is the second confirmed case of person-to-person spread in the U.S. The first was between a woman and her husband in Chicago, Illinois. Thailand has confirmed 19 cases, mostly Chinese tourists but also in a Thai taxi driver.

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