January 23 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Steve George, James Griffiths and Jack Guy, CNN

Updated 8:46 a.m. ET, January 24, 2020
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9:26 p.m. ET, January 22, 2020

It's Thursday morning in Wuhan. Here's what happened overnight

At least 17 people are dead in China and more than 500 infected as the Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread throughout Asia and across the world.

As China continues to try and contain the Wuhan coronavirus ahead of the main Lunar New Year travel rush, officials took the largely unprecedented step of ordering a partial lockdown of the city of 11 million people.

From 10 a.m. local time (9 p.m. ET), all public transport, including planes and trains, has been "temporarily suspended."

What exactly this means, and how long the "temporary" suspension will continue is currently unclear -- the majority of travel during Lunar New Year takes place on roads by private vehicle.

Even with the roads remaining open, the scale of the challenge facing authorities is immense. For the purpose of comparison, imagine closing down all transport links for a city more than three times the size of Chicago, two days before Christmas.

Extra screening protocols have also been put in place in airports outside of China, including in the US, where the first case of the virus was confirmed Wednesday.

Following a meeting in Geneva, World Health Organization (WHO) officials decided not to declare a public health emergency over the Wuhan virus. They will meet again Thursday to discuss whether further action is needed.

8:16 p.m. ET, January 22, 2020

US officials in Washington state are monitoring the health of a US patient's 'close contacts'

From CNN’s Jen Christensen

Washington state health officials said Wednesday that investigators have identified 16 “close contacts” of a 30-year-old man who is the first confirmed case of coronavirus diagnosed in the United States. 

The Snohomish County resident, who has not been named, identified people that he has interacted with since returning from Wuhan. Those named will be actively monitored for signs of any illness by local health officials. 

Health officials said that they consider a “close contact” to be anyone who is within 6 feet of an infected person, like having a meal or meetings together, but that they are not asking those contacts to isolate themselves unless they have symptoms.

Health staff will reach out to the contacts daily to see if they have a fever or cough and to check if they develop any symptoms. Dr. Chris Spitters, the health officer for the Snohomish Health District, said there is also a call center set up to take resident’s questions about the virus. 

8:15 p.m. ET, January 22, 2020

People seen queuing for train tickets in Wuhan ahead of a transport lockdown 

Above, a photograph shows queues at Wuchang train station in Wuhan, China. Starting on Thursday morning local time, all city transportation will halt, including local buses, ferries, long-distance buses and subways. Wuhan's airport and railway stations will be "temporarily closed" for departing passengers.