Wuhan mayor expects 1,000 more confirmed cases of coronavirus in China

Jan. 26 (UPI) — Wuhan Mayor Zhou Xianwang estimated that 45 percent of the 2,800 who are suspected to be infected with the virus will turn into confirmed cases, causing the total to rise by at least 1,000 in the Chinese city.

Zhou added that 553 people confirmed to be infected with the virus have been hospitalized including 53 in critical condition, while an additional 643 unconfirmed carriers are under medical observation.

Wuhan, the epicenter for the virus, has reported 618 confirmed cases and 43 deaths.

The Bejing municipal health authority said Sunday that the city now has 68 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

A 9-month-old girl was included among the new confirmed cases, the youngest case confirmed so far, the city said.

There have been than 2,000 confirmed cases of the virus throughout the country, resulting in 56 deaths.

On Sunday, China Health Minister Ma Xiaowei said Sunday the virus appears to be getting stronger and can be transmitted during incubation of one to 14 days.

“There are signs showing the virus is becoming more transmissible. These walking ‘contagious agents’ [hidden carriers] make controlling the outbreak a lot more difficult,” Ma said at a news conference. “From observations, the virus is capable of transmission even during incubation period.”

A different severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS, was not contagious during incubation. From 2002-03, SARS killed more than 600 people across mainland China and Hong Kong, and 100 elsewhere in the world.

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned of an “accelerating spread” of the virus as the number of cases has increased 50 percent in 24 hours.

More than 50 million people in central China were ordered on lockdown and a travel ban has been instituted for 16 cities in the Hubei province where the virus was first reported.

Hong Kong Disneyland and rival attraction Ocean Park shut down on Sunday in response to concerns about the coronavirus and Shanghai’s Disneyland also closed on Saturday.

Hong Kong Disney land said it chose to close the park to protect “the health and safety of our guests and cast members” and said guests would receive refunds.

The Chinese Football Association withdrew as the host of the host for the women’s soccer Olympic qualifying tournament next month and Sydney, Australia was chosen as the replacement.

“We are confident we will host a successful tournament here in Sydney, said Football Federation Australia chairman Chris Nikou.

Several cruise line, including Costa Crociere, MSC, Royal Caribbean and Genting Cruise Lines, have suspended cruise operations in mainland China. Cruise Industry News reported sailing have been canceled at least through the next week. Genting plans to continue to operate from Hong Kong.

In addition, Semester at Seawill divert the MV World Odyssey from the anticipated port stop in Shanghai, China, and extend a planned stay in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, by six days. Semester at Sea offers 100-plus days programs that travel around the world.

Outside China, the virus has been reported in 11 nations. Thailand has the most with seven, followed by Australia with four, three in United States, France, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea; two in Vietnam and one each in Canada and Nepal.

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