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China Coronavirus Spread Is Accelerating - China's President Warns   
 
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25-Jan-2020  
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The spread of a deadly new virus is accelerating, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned, after holding a special government meeting on the Lunar New Year public holiday.

The country is facing a "grave situation" Mr Xi told senior officials, according to state television.

The coronavirus has killed at least 41 people and infected almost 1,300 since its discovery in the city of Wuhan.

Travel restrictions have already hit several affected cities.

And from Sunday, private vehicles will be banned from central districts of Wuhan, the source of the outbreak.

A second emergency hospital is to be built there within weeks to handle 1,300 new patients, and will be finished in half a month, state newspaper the People's Daily said. It is the second such rapid construction project: work on another 1,000-bed hospital has already begun.

Specialist military medical teams have also been flown into Hubei province, where Wuhan is located.

The urgency reflects concern both within China and elsewhere about the virus which first appeared in December.

Lunar New Year celebrations for the year of the rat, which began on Saturday, have been cancelled in many Chinese cities.

Across mainland China, travellers are having their temperatures checked for signs of fever, and train stations have been shut in several cities.

What is the coronavirus, and what does it do?

A coronavirus is a family of viruses which include the common cold.

But this virus has never been seen before, so it's been called 2019-nCov, for "novel coronavirus".

New viruses can become common in humans after jumping across the species barrier from animals.

The Sars [Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome] outbreak of 2003 started in bats and transferred to the civet cat which passed it on to humans.
 
 
Source: BBC
 
 

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