A US citizen has become the first foreigner to die from the new coronavirus coronavirus as the overall death toll rose to 722.
The 60-year-old died at a hospital in the Chinese city of Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak – on February 6, the US embassy said on Saturday.
More people have now died from coronavirus in China than during the 2002-2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak and the total number of infections in the country has reached 34,546.
Two people have died from the virus outside mainland China – one in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines – and at least 25 countries have confirmed cases.
Major airlines have suspended flights to and from China and several countries have evacuated their citizens from Wuhan and the wider Hubei province in a bid to stop the spread.
Here are the latest updates:
Saturday, February 8
New Man U signing from China to skip training camp in Spain
Manchester United’s newest signing will not travel to a training camp in Spain during the Premier League’s midseason break because the club fears travel restrictions may prevent him returning to England.
Odion Ighalo joined United in a deadline-day loan move from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua, with the Nigerian arriving in Manchester last weekend.
“Odion will stay in Manchester because he arrived from China in the last 14 days,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the club’s in-house TV station, adding that the player will be working with a personal coach while his teammates are in Spain.
Medical supplies in Hubei improved but shortages persist: Provincial government
The vice governor of Hubei province said that the region’s supply of medical goods had improved but could still tighten if the epidemic worsens.
Speaking at an evening press briefing in Wuhan, Cao Guangjing said Hubei’s major providers of protective gear – such as masks and protective suits – had all returned to work as of February 7 but some smaller plants had still not fully resumed production.
“The shortage still exists,” but may end if there is a turning point in the crisis, Cao said. “If the numbers keep rising, the tightness will continue and may increase.”
WHO-led coronavirus probe team leaving for China next week
A WHO-led international team investigating the coronavirus outbreak will leave for China on Monday or Tuesday, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a daily press briefing in Geneva.
Singapore confirms new cases
Singapore has confirmed seven more cases of the coronavirus, taking the country’s total number of recorded cases to 40.
Five of the new cases are linked to previously announced cases and include a taxi driver and a private hire car driver, the health ministry said.
Read more about which countries have confirmed cases of the new coroanvirus here.
Volkswagen postpones restart of some China plants
Volkswagen has postponed restarting production at most China plants in its joint venture with SAIC Motor and the Tianjin plant in its JV with FAW Group until February 17.
One car-manufacturing plant Volkswagen operates with SAIC in Shanghai and most of the plants in the FAW joint venture will restart on February 10, the German car maker said in an emailed statement.
Volkswagen said it was facing supply chain challenges as China goes back to work after the extended Lunar New Year holiday, as well as limited travel options for its employees.
France to close two schools near ski resort after cases reported
Two schools near a French ski resort where five Britons were diagnosed with the new coronavirus will be closed next week as authorities try to determine with whom those infected had been in contact, a regional health official said.
Eleven Britons, including the five who tested positive for the virus, are being examined in local hospitals.
Other countries feel the pinch as Chinese tourists stay home
China is the world’s largest source of tourists but travel bans, suspended flights and government advisories are keeping many would-be tourists from the Chinese mainland at home.
Regional economies are feeling the effects of losing out on tourist dollars.