China is doing all it can to contain this deadly virus however 80 people have died, and the virus has been detected in 14 Asian countries as well as France and the USA. 2811 cases have been confirmed so far.
While there were no new deaths confirmed outside of hard-hit province Hubei, the national tally of verified infections rose by 769, around half of them in Hubei, the National Health Commission said. It said 461 of those infected were in serious condition.
China has taken the unprecedented move to shut down entire towns with many millions of people not being able to travel for the Chinese New Year.
The virus’s ability to spread appears to be “getting stronger” though it is “not as powerful as SARS”, top Chinese health officials said at a press conference.
The previously unknown virus has caused global concern because of its similarity to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) pathogen, which killed hundreds across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
The populous southern province of Guangdong, Jiangxi in the centre, and three cities made it mandatory for residents to wear face masks in public.
The US State Department said on Sunday it was arranging a flight from Wuhan to San Francisco for consulate staff and other Americans in the city.
France’s government and the French carmaker PSA also said they planned to evacuate staff and families, who will be quarantined in a city in a neighbouring province.
Japan is coordinating with Beijing to swiftly evacuate its citizens, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.