January 25 coronavirus news

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6:26 a.m. ET, January 25, 2020

15 Chinese cities now in lockdown, affecting more than 57 million people

A man uses a thermometer gun to take a driver's temperature at a checkpoint at a highway toll gate in Wuhan on January 23, 2020.
A man uses a thermometer gun to take a driver's temperature at a checkpoint at a highway toll gate in Wuhan on January 23, 2020.

Fifteen Chinese cities are now in lockdown as Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread through the country.

The combined populations of the 15 cities total 57.2 million people.

All 15 of the cities are in Hubei Province, of which Wuhan is the capital.

The strictness of each lockdown order varies from city to city, but all are experiencing a halt to public transport services.

In Wuhan (population 11 million) and nearby Huanggang (population 7.5 million), markets and cinemas have been closed, roads have been shut, and train stations and airports closed.

5:59 a.m. ET, January 25, 2020

Qinghai Province confirms first case

The western China province of Qinghai has confirmed its first case of Wuhan Coronavirus, according to the local health authority.

The diagnosis brings the total number of people with the virus in mainland China to 1,288.

The only province without a recorded case is now Tibet.

5:58 a.m. ET, January 25, 2020

UK officials on hunt for thousands of patients who arrived from Wuhan

There were three flights a week from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport to London's Heathrow Airport.
There were three flights a week from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport to London's Heathrow Airport. Ben Stansall/AFP

UK health officials are trying to track down hundreds of passengers who recently arrived from Wuhan -- the epicenter of the virus outbreak -- in the UK.

Before the temporary closure of Wuhan Tianhe International Airport on Thursday, "there were 3 flights a week" into London's Heathrow Airport, a spokeswoman of Public Health England told CNN.

"As an additional precaution, we are endeavouring to ensure that all passengers that have arrived from Wuhan in the last fortnight have the information they require to seek help if they begin to experience symptoms," Dr. Nick Phin, Deputy Director, National Infection Service, Public Health England, said in a statement.

This comes after all 14 suspected cases of the virus in the UK were given the all-clear on Friday.

4:46 a.m. ET, January 25, 2020

Wuhan to build extra hospital in 15 days

Wuhan will be building a second hospital with 1,300 beds in the next 15 days, according to Chinese state media People’s Daily.

The announcement comes after health workers in the city warned that hospitals are running low on supplies as they struggle to cope with the outbreak of the virus.

4:03 a.m. ET, January 25, 2020

Hong Kong declares Wuhan virus outbreak an "emergency"

The Hong Kong Disease contingency plan has been upgraded from “serious” to “emergency” level, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced in a press conference Saturday amid rising fears of the virus's spread.

Lam also said schools in the city will be suspended until February 17.

3:43 a.m. ET, January 25, 2020

These are the places where Wuhan coronavirus cases have been confirmed

Australia, Malaysia and Nepal all reported their first confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus on Saturday. There are now 13 places outside of mainland China where cases of the deadly virus have been confirmed.

As of the end of the day Friday, 1,287 cases had been confirmed in mainland China, mostly in Hubei province.

Here are the other places:

Hong Kong: 5 cases

Thailand: 5 cases

Australia: 4 cases

France: 3 cases

Japan: 3 cases

Malaysia: 3 cases

Singapore: 3 cases

Taiwan: 3 cases

Macao: 2 cases

South Korea: 2 cases

United States: 2 cases

Vietnam: 2 cases

Nepal: 1 case

3:32 a.m. ET, January 25, 2020

Australia just confirmed 3 more Wuhan coronavirus cases

Three men who traveled from China to Sydney, Australia, have tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus, health authorities in the city said.

The country has now confirmed a total of four cases.

3:21 a.m. ET, January 25, 2020

Vehicles to be banned in Wuhan city center

Nearly all motor vehicles will be banned from Wuhan’s city center starting Sunday to control the flow of people, according to the local task force set up to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Only vehicles with special permits, free shuttles and government vehicles will be allowed to use the roads.

An empty road is seen on the first day of the Lunar New Year in Wuhan on Saturday.
An empty road is seen on the first day of the Lunar New Year in Wuhan on Saturday. Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

3:44 a.m. ET, January 25, 2020

Wuhan healthcare workers speak of challenges while dealing with coronavirus outbreak

A police car is seen in front of one of the roads blocked by authorities to restrict people leaving Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on Saturday.
A police car is seen in front of one of the roads blocked by authorities to restrict people leaving Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on Saturday. Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

Healthcare workers in Wuhan are warning that hospitals are running low on supplies as they struggle to cope with the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus.

Four medical staff -- including doctors -- spoke to CNN of the situation and vented their frustrations amid exhaustion. They have asked to remain anonymous, fearing they could face repercussions for speaking to journalists without permission from their superiors.

Through telephone conversations with CNN and posts on Chinese social media, they described scenes of hospitals low on resources. In private groups online, those identified as hospital staff are working with members of the public to import protective equipment as they treat an increasing number of patients infected with the deadly new coronavirus.  

“In terms of resources, the whole of Wuhan is lacking,” one Wuhan-based healthcare worker told CNN by phone. This person said they were looking for more protective clothing, including goggles and masks. 

“It’s really like we’re ‘going into battle stripped to the waist,’” another healthcare worker added, using a Chinese idiom that equates to “going into battle without armor.”

Construction workers drive excavators at the site of a new 1,000-bed hospital being built to accommodate the increasing number of coronavirus patients in this photograph taken on January 24, 2020.
Construction workers drive excavators at the site of a new 1,000-bed hospital being built to accommodate the increasing number of coronavirus patients in this photograph taken on January 24, 2020.

A different hospital staff member even claimed healthcare workers have had to resort to wearing diapers to work so as to avoid having to remove their hazmat suits, which they say are in short supply. A doctor on her Weibo microblog account described similar accounts at another Wuhan hospital. 

“My family members are definitely worried about me, but I still have to work,” a separate doctor told CNN. But she said that she is hopeful that they will ultimately get the gear they need.

“Our bosses, our hospital suppliers will definitely find a way to get these stocks to us,” she added.

It’s not clear if these accounts are merely anecdotal or whether there are widespread shortages across Wuhan.

Chinese state media has also shared posts from multiple Wuhan hospitals in which they are asking for public donations of medical supplies. They report that one hospital staff member said the current supplies “are only able to sustain three or four days."