Pacific must be prepared for long battle with coronavirus-Op piece PIPSO's Stephen Lyon

A radio interview with NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on New Zealand’s Newstalk ZB (0740 09/02/20) it seems to indicate the New Zealand Government has not learned from the measles epidemic in Samoa nor have they accepted the criticisms of their own Ministry of Health. And that head in the sand attitude has been continued with this far more deadly new disease.

Coronavirus global death toll passes 900

The Hubei Health Authority reported that 91 more people died of coronavirus in Hubei province yesterday. 

The death toll for mainland China is now "at least 902" with the global death toll at "at least 904", CNN reports, with one death in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.

In China's Hubei province where the virus broke out the total number of people infected with the virus is more than 29,600.

The vast majority of the confirmed cases are in mainland China.

Thousands on cruise ship allowed to disembark after tests

Some 3,600 passengers and crew on the World Dream ship were quarantined amid fears some staff could have contracted the virus on a previous voyage.

Another cruise ship where dozens of cases have been confirmed remains in quarantine off Japan.

The outbreak has killed 813 people, all but two in mainland China.

The coronavirus has now killed more people than Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome). In 2003, that epidemic killed 774 people in more than two dozen countries.

Marshall Islands bans overseas govt travel over coronavirus

Marshall Islands President David Kabua signed a proclamation late Friday night declaring a State of Health Emergency in response to the World Health Organization's declaration that the new coronavirus is a "public health emergency of international concern."

Health authorities in the western Pacific nation say their medical facilities would be quickly overwhelmed with even a handful of coronavirus patients.

Coronavirus deaths exceed Sars fatalities in 2003

In China's Hubei province alone, the epicentre of the latest outbreak, the death toll now is put at 780 by regional health officials.

All but one of the overall total of 803 deaths have so far been in mainland China and Hong Kong.

In 2003, 774 people were killed by Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in more than two dozen countries.

More than 34,800 people have been infected with the new coronavirus worldwide, the vast majority in China.

Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency over the new outbreak.

Vanuatu students evacuated from Wuhan

According to the Vanuatu Foreign Affairs Ministry, the students are onboard a special charter flight.

The students will be kept under quarantine in Darwin for 14 days before they can return home to Vanuatu.

The Ministry has thanked the Australian Government for providing seats for them on the flight.

Wuhan is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

The death toll in china has reached 811.

The number of confirmed infections rose to 37,198, according to China’s National Health Commission.


Hong Kong imposes quarantine rules on mainland Chinese

Visitors must isolate themselves in hotel rooms or go to government-run centres, while returning Hong Kong residents must stay inside their homes.

Anyone caught flouting the new rules faces a fine and a prison sentence.

Tens of thousands of travellers queued at the Chinese border city of Shenzhen ahead of the midnight deadline.

Hong Kong has seen 26 confirmed cases of the virus and one person has died. The number of confirmed cases in mainland China stands at 31,203, with 636 deaths.

Another 41 catch virus on quarantined cruise ship

Some 3,700 people are on board the Diamond Princess, which is quarantined in Yokohama for at least two weeks.

The checks began after an 80-year-old Hong Kong man who had been on the ship last month fell ill with the virus.

He boarded the cruise ship in Yokohama on 20 January and disembarked in Hong Kong on 25 January.

A separate cruise ship - the World Dream - has been quarantined in Hong Kong after eight former passengers caught the virus.

It has around 3,600 people on board, but none have tested positive so far.


Coronavirus kills Chinese whistleblower doctor

Li Wenliang contracted the virus while working at Wuhan Central Hospital.

He had sent out a warning to fellow medics on 30 December but police told him to stop "making false comments".

There had been contradictory reports about his death, but the People's Daily now says he died at 02:58 on Friday (18:58 GMT Thursday).

Wuhan coronavirus: 30 Pacific evacuees quarantined in NZ

They are among 193 evacuees who arrived in Auckland from the Chinese city at the epicentre of the new coronavirus outbreak, Wuhan, on Wednesday night.

The Pacific evacuees include 17 from Papua New Guinea, five Samoans, four Tongans, two Fijians, one from Kiribati and one from Federated States of Micronesia.

The group is expected to be held in isolation at Whangaparaoa, north of Auckland, for two weeks.

Otago University Professor Michael Baker said they would be contained and monitored and did not pose any threat to their home communities.