Authorities in China have imposed indefinite travel restrictions on tens of millions of people across sevencities in an unprecedented effort to contain the spread of a deadly new coronavirus, as hospitals at the epicenter of the outbreak struggle to handle a surge in new patients.
At least eight hospitals in Wuhan issued public calls for donations of masks, googles, gowns and other protective medical gear, according to notices online.
In the capital, Beijing, major events were canceled indefinitely, including traditional temple fairs that are a staple of vacation, to stop the virus from spreading.
Authorities were taking precautions around the country.
Diaz said that the patient was taken in the isolation pod directly to a special pathogens unit, which is a closed unit where he is the only patient being treated.
Peter Piot, professor of global health and director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: "The good news is that the data to date suggests that this virus may have a lower mortality than Sars, we have a diagnostic test and there is greater transparency than decades gone by". Twenty-six people have died, including the first two deaths outside Hubei and the youngest recorded victim.
"I go straight to where I need to go, and then I go home", said 79-year-old Li Meihua, from behind a mask, on the streets of Shanghai. Heilongjiang province in the northeast confirmed a death there but did not give details. He died following a sudden cardiac arrest on January 23.
The father got a fever on January 17 and the son got the same symptoms three days later, according to Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Sang, head of tropical diseases at Cho Ray hospital in Ho Chi Minh city.
The vast majority of cases have been in and around Wuhan, but people who visited or had personal connections to infected people were among the scattered cases counted beyond the mainland. Cases have been detected in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, the United States, Thailand and Vietnam. There have been no confirmed cases in Canada so far.
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Many countries are screening travellers from China and isolating anyone with symptoms.
The World Health Organization on Thursday chose not to declare a global health emergency because of the disease even as China quarantined more territory around the city at the heart of the outbreak, Wuhan, to prevent its spread. The declaration can increase resources to fight a threat but its potential to cause economic damage makes the decision politically fraught.
Earlier, the Scottish government confirmed that five people had been tested.
A coronavirus is one of a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to the deadly SARS.
Officials worry the weeklong lunar new year holiday, which begins on Saturday and usually sees hundreds of millions of Chinese crisscross the country, will exacerbate an outbreak that has reached nearly all of China's provinces.
Indications are the bug originated in a seafood market as a result of close human contact with animals - but the presence of the laboratory, which celebrates its 5th anniversary next Friday, will raise eyebrows.
But hospitals visited by AFP journalists bustled as anxious patients arrived to be screened by staff wearing full-body protective suits.
On Friday, staff in full body protective suits were seen checking the temperatures of people entering a subway station in Beijing.
To discourage nationwide holiday travel, the government said beginning Friday anyone who bought a ticket for rail, air, long-distance coach, or water transport could receive a refund upon cancellation.