Coronavirus pandemic
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
The virus has spread around China as authorities scramble to enforce travel restrictions. Photo: EPA-EFE

Wuhan coronavirus confirmed in 29 of China’s 31 provinces

  • The deaths include the first reported outside the epicentre around Wuhan
  • Number of infected doctors and nurses higher than reported, sources say
The coronavirus discovered in the city of Wuhan has spread to all but two of China’s 31 provinces, indicating that efforts to stem the outbreak with travel bans and cancellations of flights and rail services were failing.

As of Friday night, there had been 895 cases of infection and 26 deaths in mainland China, according to Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily and, one of the country’s biggest online network of doctors.

The deaths included the first reported outside the epicentre of Hubei province, where Wuhan is located. One was in the northern Hebei province, neighbouring Beijing, and another was in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, about 2,400km (about 1,500 miles) from Wuhan.

Official reports said 15 medical staff in Wuhan had been infected, but two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said the number of infected doctors and nurses was much higher.

In response to the rapidly growing number of infections, China had shut down outbound transport from 13 cities and counties in Hubei by Friday morning, according to China National Radio.

Health officials have warned on nationwide broadcasts that people should avoid traditional family reunions and other public gatherings during the Lunar New Year period that starts on Saturday.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday stopped short of declaring the outbreak a global public health emergency, but said that it would monitor the situation closely.

Six days, hundreds of patients: China rushes to build makeshift hospital

The outbreak is “an emergency in China”, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press conference in Geneva. “But it has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one.”

Confirmed cases of the new coronavirus have been found in several Asian countries, as well as the United States. New infections were confirmed on Friday in South Korea and Japan, while Singapore and Vietnam declared their first cases on Thursday. Other places outside mainland China reporting individuals carrying the virus were Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

Purchase the China AI Report 2020 brought to you by SCMP Research and enjoy a 20% discount (original price US$400). This 60-page all new intelligence report gives you first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments and intelligence about China AI. Get exclusive access to our webinars for continuous learning, and interact with China AI executives in live Q&A. Offer valid until 31 March 2020.