Coronavirus has been declared notifiable disease in Queensland, Australia
I’d like to say a big thanks to everyone who sent in information, it’s been extremely helpful.
Here’s a summary of some key updates before I hand over to the Australia team, who’ll continue the coverage from Sydney:
- The virus has spread to at least 9,320 people around the world, surpassing that of the SARS epidemic over a year long period (2002-2003).
- 212 people have died, all in China.
- There are 98 confirmed cases of infection outside mainland China in at least 18 countries.
- The United States reported its first case of person-to-person transmission, joining Germany, Vietnam and Japan in recording similar incidents.
- BA has suspended all flights to and from mainstream China until the end of February. Other countries have also implemented a flight ban, most recently Italy.
- Almost 200 US citizens have been evacuated and have arrived at a military base in California. They will be isolated for a minimum of 72 hours. The US is said to be planning another airlift in the coming days.
- France have evacuated 200 citizens who are currently flying back to southern France where there’ll be quarantined for 14 days. The European Commission has said it is planning a flight to evacuate more European nationals.
- The Chinese Football Association has postponed its domestic games in 2020, and the World Athletics Indoors Championships, due to take place in the Chinese city of Nanjing in March, have been moved to 2021.
- Google and IKEA became the latest franchises to shut their Chinese shops and offices.
In Australia, confirmed cases of the virus have climbed to 9, but two people have been released and are “post-viral” according to the country’s health minister, Greg Hunt.
Authorities have been tracking down passengers that were on a plane with a Chinese tourist who flew from Melbourne to the Gold Coast on 27 January.
The 44-year-old man, from Wuhan, was diagnosed with coronavirus and was being treated in isolation in hospital on the Gold Coast.
The Guardian understands that at least one passenger who was on that plane to the Gold Coast has been asked to stay home from work. The passenger is not believed to be at high risk but as a precaution has been asked to remain at home for the time being.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have confirmed that following a last-minute decision from China, dependents of British nationals and dual nationals will be allowed on to the evacuation flight.
Previously, restrictions imposed by China meant those with Chinese passports were not permitted to leave the country, and China does not recognise dual nationality.
The U-turn meant that Matt Raw and his 75-year-old mother Hazel were given permission to fly along with Raw’s wife Ying, who holds a Chinese passport.
It’s uncertain whether other families in similar situations have been given the go-ahead to board the plane, or whether they have been able to make it to the airport in time.