As of Tuesday, Chinese authorities have confirmed that the death toll due to coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has soared to 106 while nearly 1,300 new cases have been confirmed. The health commission in central Hubei province, the epicentre of the epidemic, said 24 more people had died from the virus and 1,291 more people were infected, raising the total number of confirmed cases to more than 4,000 across China.
In light of this, US authorities are reportedly preparing to fly out its diplomats and other nationals from the country. Similar moves by countries such as Japan, Mongolia, France and Australia are also expected in the coming days, reported The Guardian.
Meanwhile, an Air India flight which was due to leave on Monday evening to evacuate all Indians especially students stranded in Wuhan, did not take off due to a directive by the government. Officials speaking to The Hindu said that there was a review of measures to ascertain whether those on board are sanitised and if the aircraft itself will become a carrier of the virus.
Other than China, many neighbouring Southeast Asian countries have been affected including Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Vietnam and Cambodia. A small number of cases have been reported in the US, Germany, France and Canada as well.
Preeti Maheshwari, the only Indian who was in China and was confirmed to have been infected, is recovering well, according to the Facebook post of a relative.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on January 9 had first confirmed the outbreak of the new strain of the coronavirus. According to health officials from China, the deceased had been battling underlying health conditions (such as diabetes, hypertension etc), which led the disease to rapidly progress and led to their deaths.
TNM had earlier reported that Saudi authorities have confirmed that a nurse from Kerala has not been affected by the same virus but a different strain of the virus called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
In India, the Union Ministry issued a travel advisory on Friday, asking its citizens to follow certain precautionary measures while traveling to China. There are about 55,500 Indians residing in China, according to the Ministry of External Affairs' (MEA) 2018 report. The Ministry has advised screening of travellers from China at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and multiple airports in Tamil Nadu using thermal scanners.