China coronavirus spreads to more provinces, first deaths reported outside Wuhan region
Cases reported in more provinces, suggesting travel bans and lockdowns are failing to halt the spread of infection
Authorities have confirmed the first death outside the epicentre around Wuhan
,24 January, 2020
The coronavirus identified in Wuhan in central China has spread to all but two of the country’s 31 provinces, indicating that efforts to stem the outbreak with travel bans and lockdowns are failing.
As of midnight on Thursday, China’s National Health Commission had confirmed 830 cases of infection nationwide, with 25 deaths, including the first reported from outside the epicentre in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital city.
Infections in the north
On Friday a day after Wuhan and several other Chinese cities went into lockdown – two railway staff in the northern port city of Tianjin, about 130km (80 miles) from Beijing, were confirmed as having the coronavirus.
Tianjin Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said the two staff, the city’s fifth and sixth confirmed cases, worked in the same passenger train carriage. Screening and inspection of the train had been conducted overnight and people who had close contact with the two employees had been placed under medical supervision, the centre said.
It came as hundreds of millions of people travelled across the country for the Lunar New Year holiday, raising concerns that China’s biggest annual migration could hasten the spread of infection.
More to come …