Chinese City Of Wuhan Placed Under Quarantine Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
The Chinese city of Wuhan - the capital of Central China's Hubei province - has now been placed under quarantine amid the outbreak of coronavirus, according to AFP, which cites reports on the country's social networks.
The virus has been linked to the deaths of at least 17 people, with more than 500 others also taken ill.
It has been noted for to its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed nearly 650 people back in 2002-2003.
#China Video from #Wuhan filmed by a local citizen; he filmed the makeshift tents in a Wuhan hospital to quarantine and treat the patients of #WuhanPneumonia
- #WuhanPneumonia is much more serious than anyone has imagined
- It looks like Biohazard (game/movie) pic.twitter.com/aOtCWIyVaK
- W. B. Yeats (@WBYeats1865) January 22, 2020
It is believed that animals could be the suspected primary source of the outbreak, with a seafood market selling live animals in Wuhan in Hubei province being identified as ground zero for the virus.
The World Health Organisation reported that The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan city was closed on 1 January 2020 for environmental sanitation and disinfection.
Gao Fu, director of the Chinese centre for disease control and prevention, explained in a report published by Rappler: "We already know that the disease originated from a market which conducted illegal transaction of wild animals.
"This might be the cause, so the disease could be on an animal, and then passed on from this animal to a human."
He added that it was clear 'this virus is adapting and mutating'.
If this video is true and the Roads in Wuhan are on lock and the city is being quarantined, maybe the virus is far more dangerous than authorities say... It is easy to manipulate data in a dictatorial Communist regime like China has...#China #Wuhan #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/bQy1EiybAY
- Mauricio Vaglio (@mvaglio) January 22, 2020
Many other countries' health agencies and governing bodies had issued warnings to travellers. The UK has advised against 'all but essential travel' to Wuhan, while passengers on flights coming in from China will be observed for signs of the fast-spreading virus - similar to steps taken by the likes of Australia and the US to identify potential carriers before they arrive at their destination.
In a press conference today, the World Health Organisation's Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, referred to the outbreak as an 'evolving and complex situation', and said that there would be a meeting on Thursday to decide whether or not a public health emergency would be declared.
The Emergency Committee on the new #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) agreed with the decision to reconvene tomorrow given the rapidly evolving situation - Dr Didier Houssin, chair of the Committee
- World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 22, 2020
He said: "I have decided to ask the Emergency Committee to meet again tomorrow to continue their discussion, and the Chair, Dr Houssin, has agreed with that request.
"The decision about whether or not to declare a public health emergency of international concern is one I take extremely seriously, and one I am only prepared to make with appropriate consideration of all the evidence."
He added: "Our team in China working with local experts and officials to investigate the outbreak.
"We will have much more to say tomorrow."
Featured Image Credit: PA