January 26 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Brett McKeehan and Tara John, CNN

Updated 9:17 p.m. ET, January 26, 2020
38 Posts
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7:42 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020

First person in Africa tested for the virus in Cote d'Ivoire

From CNN’s Radina Gigova in Atlanta

Authorities in Cote d'Ivoire have tested the first person on the African continent for the Wuhan coronavirus, Cote d'Ivoire’s Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene said in a statement Sunday.  

An Ivorian student who traveled from Beijing to Abidjan experienced symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and difficulty breathing, the ministry said.

The student was moved to a safe location on arrival at the airport and is currently under medical observation, the ministry said.

Authorities believe it is a case of pneumonia and not coronavirus, but the final diagnosis will be made after the analysis of the tests results, the ministry said. 

The ministry urged residents not to panic, to maintain proper hygiene and to visit the closest health center in case of fever, cough or breathing difficulties.

7:24 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020

Lunar New Year parade canceled in Paris

From Antoine Crouin in Paris

People dance with costumes to mark the Chinese New Year at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Saturday.
People dance with costumes to mark the Chinese New Year at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Saturday. AP Photo/Michel Euler)

The Chinese community in Paris has canceled its Lunar New Year parade planned for Sunday at the Place de la République as a precautionary measure against coronavirus, the city’s official Twitter account said.

A spokesperson for Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told CNN that precaution took "precedence." 

"The Chinese community in Paris has decided to cancel the parade planned for this afternoon on the Place de la République. The associations didn't have the heart to celebrate," Hidalgo told French radio Europe 1.

“We must not give in to panic but, at the same time, be vigilant and respect the decision of the Chinese associations in Paris."

There are currently three confirmed cases of coronavirus in France, the French Health Ministry announced on Friday.

6:55 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020

UK government "looking at all options" to help Britons in Wuhan  

From CNN’s Samantha Tapfumaneyi in London.

Priti Patel addresses delegates in Manchester Central on October 1, 2019.
Priti Patel addresses delegates in Manchester Central on October 1, 2019.

The British government is "looking at all the options" to help citizens trapped in Wuhan, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said Sunday after being asked about UK media reports that officials are examining the logistics of airlifting Britons out of the central Chinese city.

During a Sky News interview, Patel said she would not “comment specifically on newspaper stories” but the UK is doing its "utmost to stop the virus from coming to the UK and obviously becoming a widespread problem."

There are many efforts being made, and this is actually where Border Force provides information to Public Health England in terms of passengers that have traveled to and from the area. And so, they are actually contacting people and reaching out to them and providing screening and testing and that is fine.”

Before China put in restrictions on outgoing flights from Wuhan, there were three flights a week into London’s Heathrow Airport, a Public Health England spokeswoman told CNN on Saturday.

6:19 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020

China’s Shantou city withdraws lockdown 

From CNN’s Yong Xiong in Beijing.

Authorities in the Chinese city of Shantou, in Guangdong Province, announced Sunday they will withdraw a lockdown and ban on the movement of vehicles that they announced earlier in the day.

Shantou will continue to allow vehicles, ferries, people and goods to go in and out of the city, but will strengthen its monitoring and prevention efforts for the coronavirus outbreak, authorities said.

Shantou was the first city in Guangdong Province to enact such a lockdown. 

There are now 15 cities in China that are under full or partial lockdown by authorities, affecting some 57.2 million people.

6:17 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020

Beijing to postpone start of spring semester due to virus

From CNN’s Steven Jiang in Beijing.

Chinese health workers wait to check the temperatures of travellers entering a subway station on January 25, 2020 in Beijing, China.
Chinese health workers wait to check the temperatures of travellers entering a subway station on January 25, 2020 in Beijing, China. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Beijing announced on Sunday that the city will postpone the start of the spring semester for all schools in the city, including primary, secondary and universities, due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a decree released by the Beijing Education Commission.

“To effectively curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak on campuses of schools and other educational institutions, it is decided that the start of the 2020 spring semester will be postponed for all schools and kindergartens,” the decree said. 

“Off-campus offline educational programs will also be suspended throughout the city,” it said. 

A new start date for the 2020 spring semester has yet to be set.

6:12 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020

Japan will evacuate its nationals from Wuhan via chartered flights

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to the lower house of the parliament on January 20, 2020 in Tokyo.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to the lower house of the parliament on January 20, 2020 in Tokyo. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

The Japanese government plans to help all Japanese nationals who wish to return to Japan from Wuhan by sending charter flights, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday.

Abe said Japan is working with the Chinese government to coordinate the evacuation.

Japan confirmed its third case of Wuhan coronavirus on Saturday.

There are about 700 Japanese nationals in Wuhan, according to national broadcaster NHK.

5:31 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020

An empty apartment block will provide temporary housing for quarantined people in Hong Kong

The Fai Ming Estate will turn into a place to quarantine and observe people who have been in close contact with confirmed cases.
The Fai Ming Estate will turn into a place to quarantine and observe people who have been in close contact with confirmed cases. Anna Kam / CNN

Hong Kong authorities will turn an unoccupied apartment building into temporary flats for quarantine and observation of people who have been in close contact with confirmed Wuhan coronavirus patients, the city's Housing Authority said in a statement.

The building, called the Fai Ming Estate, is located in the town of Fanling in the New Territories, close to the border with mainland China. 

This comes as the territory confirmed its sixth case on Sunday.

5:14 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020

US citizen trapped at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak says she's angry and scared

From CNN's David Culver and Faith Karimi

People wear protective masks during decorations marking the Chinese New Year.
People wear protective masks during decorations marking the Chinese New Year.

A US citizen trapped at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China described her fear of living in a city that's cut off from the rest of the country by transport restrictions.

Teacher Diana Adama has been living in Wuhan city for three months of her 15 years in China. Wuhan is the ground zero for a new deadly strain of coronavirus -- with about 1,000 Americans living in the city.

More than 50 people are dead -- all in China -- as the Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread throughout Asia and the rest of the world. Nearly 2,000 cases have been confirmed in mainland China.

Chinese authorities have imposed indefinite restrictions on public transport and travel in Hubei province in an unprecedented effort to contain the spread of the virus.

Residents are feeling disconnected and cut off from the rest of the world, according to Adama.

"I woke up feeling quite desperate, sad, angry. Most of this is because of lack of information, and lack of knowing what's going on," she said.

Read the rest of the article here.

4:51 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020

Taiwan suspends visa applications for all Chinese nationals

From CNN’s Tina Burnside in Atlanta

Traffic at an intersection on January 14, 2016 in Taipei.
Traffic at an intersection on January 14, 2016 in Taipei. Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

Taiwan has temporarily suspended visa applications for all Chinese nationals, and has banned entry for Chinese nationals from Hubei Province, due to the coronavirus outbreak, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement Sunday. 

Chinese nationals from Hubei Province, including Chinese students, will be prohibited from entry, the statement added.

Applications of Chinese citizens from Chinese provinces other than Hubei “on account of tourism, social exchanges, professional exchanges, aesthetic medical checkups” will be temporarily suspended.

A review of applications may apply under specific circumstances. 

The measures will affect Chinese students studying in Taiwan, whose entry will be postponed two weeks later, according to the statement.

Individuals on business trips arriving from China must conduct self-health management for 14 days, the statement said.

A Chinese spouse returning from Hubei, China “will be restrained on home isolation, and local competent authorities shall actively monitor the health of such spouse for 14 days,” the statement said.