China virus toll surges to 259 deaths, nearly 12000 infections

Americans returning from China will be allowed into the country, but will face screening at select ports of entry and required to undertake 14 days of self-screening to ensure they don't pose a health risk. Such a declaration calls for a coordinated worldwide response and can bring more money and resources. United States citizens arriving from Hubei, of which Wuhan is the capital, will have to undergo 14-days mandatory quarantine on arrival, while those traveling any other part of China will face screening and monitoring. The government said they would be quarantined for two weeks in a facility set up in a nearby city, Manesar.

Mozambique said it was suspending visas for visitors from China and blocking travel to the country, while in neighbouring South Africa, Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize said temperature screenings using non-invasive thermometers would be conducted at 12 port of entries and health officials would go on board global aircraft to determine any sick travellers.

American Airlines said it would stop flights to mainland China through March 27, but would continue flights to Hong Kong.

The coronavirus epidemic has the world shook right now.

Italy's aviation authority said all flights between China and Italy were suspended until further notice after the country reported its first two cases of the virus.

"I don't want to go to the local hospital with a sore throat only to catch something else", said Czech national Veronika Krubner in Tianjin, who is considering leaving the country with her 21-month-old daughter.

Countries including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South Korea and Turkey all evacuated some citizens from China on Saturday.

World Health Organization said it was especially concerned that some cases overseas involved human-to-human transmission.

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The death rate in China is falling but the number of confirmed cases will keep growing because there are thousands of specimens from suspected cases yet to be tested, WHO's Galea said.

"The case fatality ratio is settling out at a much lower level than we were reporting three, now four, weeks ago", he said. Experts say there is evidence the new virus is spreading among people in China.

"Unfortunately, many disease surveillance systems throughout African countries are weak and most of the continent lack diagnostic capability, for example, laboratory capacity, so identifying cases and controlling the outbreak could be hard, especially in resource-constrained countries", Erondu said, even as she pointed out that the continent is home today to "stronger" and "more experienced" institutions such as Africa CDC, the NCDC and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute.

Although scientists expect to see limited transmission of the virus between people with close contact, like within families, the instances of spread to people who may have had less exposure to the virus is worrying.

In Japan, a tour guide and bus driver became infected after escorting two tour groups from Wuhan.

While the Federal Government's Smart Traveller website has advised Australians to reconsider their need to travel to China, flights are still readily available to and from mainland China. Australia reported its ninth case.

Nearly 12,000 cases have been confirmed and a small proportion of those - around 100 - occurred outside China. Four friends who were hospitalized with him have not shown symptoms.

The mandatory quarantine is the first time the United States has issued such an order in 50 years. A total of 192 people in Wuhan have now died. World Health Organization has said most people who got the illness had milder cases, though 20% experienced severe symptoms.

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