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Coronavirus outbreak: Centre may isolate those back from China recently

China to inject $173.8 billion into stock market; First death outside china reported in the Philippines; Toll crosses 300; 2,590 new infections now confirmed

Agencies 

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The government on Sunday issued a new travel advisory asking people to refrain from travelling to China in view of the outbreak in its Hubei province. In its advisory, the health ministry also said anyone with travel history to China since January 15 could be quarantined.

India on Sunday reported a second case of The individual, had returned from China recently. “The patient has tested positive for the virus and has been kept in isolation in a hospital. The person is stable and is being closely monitored,” a government statement said.

Meanwhile, one patient has been tested negative in Haryana, and reports of four are awaited in Chandigarh.

China ramped up measures to contain the epidemic as the first death from the illness was reported outside the country in the Philippines.

Some 304 people have died in China, the country’s National Health Commission said on Sunday. Beijing is facing mounting isolation as countries introduce travel restrictions and airlines suspend flights, risking worsening a slowdown.

India on Sunday temporarily suspended the e-visa facility for Chinese travellers and foreigners residing in China.

China’s central bank said it would inject a hefty 1.2 trillion yuan ($173.8 billion) worth of liquidity into the markets via reverse repo operations on Monday, as the country prepares to reopen its stock markets.

China has also taken steps to limit short-selling activities, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

In the US, the White House National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisers are analysing the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the US economy, the Washington Post reported.

President Donald Trump on Friday signed an order temporarily barring entry to foreigners who had visited China. According to reports, the US has offered to help China contain the epidemic.

However, Beijing has still not responded to US offers of help from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health professionals, according to the White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien.

“We’ve got tremendous expertise. This is a worldwide concern. We want to help our Chinese colleagues if we can and we’ve made the offer and we'll see if they accept the offer.”

While they have not been invited into China, CDC officials are in neighboring Kazakhstan to help guard against spread of the virus, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday during a visit there.

“You’ve got a long border with China which is where this disease has emanated from,” Pompeo said in an interview with a Kazakh journalist.


China may’ve silenced doctors over virus: report

According to a report by The New York Times, the Chinese government’s initial handling of the epidemic allowed the virus to gain a tenacious hold. The report says that at critical moments, officials chose to put secrecy and order ahead of openly confronting the growing crisis to avoid public alarm and political embarrassment.

“In those weeks, the authorities silenced doctors and for raising red flags. They played down the dangers to the public, leaving the city’s 11 million residents unaware they should protect themselves. They closed a food market where the virus was believed to have started, but didn’t broadly curb the wildlife trade,” the report claims.

“The first case, the details of which are limited and the specific date unknown, was in early December. By the time the authorities galvanised into action on January 20, the disease had grown into a formidable threat,” the report adds. It also claims that Wuhan went ahead with a massive annual potluck banquet for 40,000 families from a city precinct, which critics later cited as evidence that local leaders took the virus far too lightly.



First Published: Sun, February 02 2020. 22:59 IST
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