The Coronavirus infects China and beyond

Nasra Qasim, Staff Writer

Workers in hazmat suits check the temperature of passengers who are entering the train station on Sunday, January 26, 2020. (Photo via Associated Press)

On December 31, the Chinese government alerted the World Health Organization about several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, a city with about 11 million people in central China. 

A 61 year old man went into the hospital and received treatment. On January 9 he passed away. China announced him as the first death of the Coronavirus three days after his death.

On January 20, China reported the third death and more than 200 people infected. As of January 27, 106 people in China have died and another 4515 people have been infected.

On Saturday,  January 18, China’s President Xi Jinping warned of an “accelerating spread” of the Coronavirus. The disease has spread to France, South Korea, Japan, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, Australia, and the United States. Currently, there have been two confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the United States. 

Travel bans were extended into central China, and there are millions of people on local lockdowns. Chinese authorities have closed 20 cities in order to contain the virus. The authorities in Beijing have canceled the festivals and the Temple fairs for the Chinese New Year to avoid having a large public gathering where the virus could spread. In South Korea, a third case of the virus has been confirmed: A 54-year-old man who came back to the country from Wuhan. He started to show symptoms on the 18th and has been put in isolation.

China has built a hospital with over 1000 beds within a week, so they can quickly treat the patients with symptoms of the virus.

The U.S Embassy in Beijing is exploring ways to help U.S citizens in Wuhan, but the reports that a charter flight is being arranged to bring citizens and diplomats back to the United States were false, according to a voicemail at the embassy. A Washington Post reporter called the U.S embassy in Beijing to ask about the flight, and the reporter was sent a voicemail that said the reports were false and there were no confirmed arrangements at the time.

The virus also worried some people on their holiday celebration in the Seattle area. One woman said she canceled her family’s plans at a restaurant for the Lunar New Year. She said she was going to make a feast at home but she doubts that she’d make a Chinese feast. She didn’t want to go to the Asian market to buy the ingredients out of precaution. 

Also at the University of Washington campus in Seattle, the Chinese association distributed face makes in Red Square, A central plaza paved with red bricks at the university. The students were asked to donate supplies such as face masks and protective suits for China.  As of February 3rd, the virus continues to spread worldwide and health officials are working to stop it.