Coronavirus: China fumes over Ningxia case as virus spreads to every continent except Antarctica
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Now, news that the infection had been carried into the country by a traveller from Iran raised the ire of users on social media. Many fumed the drastic lockdown measures the country had taken may have been in vain.
A detailed report in state media said the man, known as Ding, travelled via Moscow, used a ride sharing app and took an overnight train.
A hashtag about the Ningxia case ratcheted up 100 million views on China’s Weibo platform.
“So many domestic efforts can’t be wasted because of the overseas arrival!” one online user wrote in a comment echoed by many others.
China is now facing the ironic possibility of adopting “targeted prevention and control measures” for those coming into the country. People landing in the Chinese capital from countries hit by the epidemic will have to self-quarantine.
Northern Italy, South Korea, Japan and Iran have been particularly hard hit. Eleven towns in Italy have been locked down while authorities work to track the source of the disease. It has also spread throughout Europe’s open border network, including to Croatia, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Greece.
“Viruses don’t know borders and they don’t stop at them,” said Roberto Speranza, the Italian health minister, as towns in the country’s north remained under armed guard and supermarket shelves were bare.
EVENTS, FLIGHTS CANCELLED
Countries around the world are scambling to contain the outbreak with flights and major events cancelled at short notice to prevent crowds mingling and spreading the disease.
Fear over the impact the virus could have has seen $A4.6 trillion wiped from the stock market this week. US Treasuries yields hit record lows on Thursday as the coronavirus spread faster outside China and investors fled to safe havens.
In Japan, nearly 13 million students have been told to stay home from 34,847 schools until spring holidays in late March.
“The coming week or two is an extremely important time,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said. “This is to prioritise the health and safety of the children and take precautions to avoid the risk of possible large-scale infections for many children and teachers who gather and spend hours together every day.”
In the UK 15 cases have been confirmed and several schools have been shut down with some pupils told to self-isolate after trips to Italy. St Thomas’s Battersea – where Prince George, 6, and Prince Charlotte, 4, attend, is among those where four students are staying home due to virus fears.
St Thomas’s said: “Like all schools, we are taking very seriously the potential risks related to the spread of Covid-19 and to this end we are following the Government’s instructions to the letter on infection prevention and case management in which it is suspected that some staff member or students exposed to the virus or showing any symptoms.
“We currently have a very small number of students who have been evaluated and these individuals currently remain in their homes waiting to receive the results of their exams.
“All parents have been informed and we have maintained regular communication with our school community to ensure that councils are shared and important information circulated.
In Saudi Arabia, the monarchy cut off access for foreigners to the holy city of Mecca and the Prophet Muhammad’s mosque in Medina to stop the spread of the virus. The holy sites could still be shuttered in July when millions of Muslims plan to undertake the hajj.
“We ask God almighty to spare all humanity from all harm,” the country said.
Originally published as China fumes over ‘imported’ virus