Update Monday, February 3, 12:30 p.m.: As of 12:21 p.m. Beijing time on February 3, 17,238 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have been found in China, with 21,558 suspected cases and 361 deaths. 479 individuals have recovered from the virus. There are now confirmed cases of the virus in Boston and New York City from individuals who have traveled to China. The Philippines has reported its first death from the virus outside of China. Cases have spiked in recent days and are expected to continue as people return from the Chinese New Year Holiday and more test results return as testing positive for the virus. According to some health experts, a pandemic is now possible, defined as an ongoing epidemic on two or more continents. The novel coronavirus can infect people through fecal-oral transmission, in addition to air droplets and close contact, according to new research from Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University and the Wuhan Institute of Virology and as reported in Sixth Tone.

Many Chinese citizens will be returning to work from the Chinese New Year holiday this week; however, many are encouraged to continue working from home to prevent the spread of the virus. Many provinces have extended enterprise work return dates until February 9. Stocks in Shanghai opened 8.7 percent lower on Monday, according to the New York Times. Apple has closed all its stores in mainland China until February 9. Applications for marriage licenses in the affected Hubei Province have been suspended until further notice. From February 1, passengers booking train tickets nationwide will be required to provide their phone number with their booking, possibly as a contact method in the event a coronavirus case is detected on the train. From February 2, temperature checks are in place across all train stations nationwide and those with a fever will be barred entry. The cities of Wenzhou and Huanggang, where an abundance of cases have occurred, are under strict lockdown measures, where new laws require households to designate just one person who may go outside and purchase any essential items, such as groceries. In Beijing, popular shopping areas such as Sanlitun have turned into ghost towns.

Many international airlines have suspended flights to and from China beginning in the next few days, including American, Delta and United. Travelers still in Beijing and planning to leave are urged to do so as soon as possible. One of our students’ flights to Los Angeles was cancelled less than 24 hours prior to departure; we rebooked him on a routing through Taiwan. Singapore has now closed its borders to those who have visited mainland China in the past 14 days. SupChina reports on the latest updates from the U.S.

The New York Times reports:

President Trump has temporarily suspended entry into the United States for any foreign nationals who have traveled to China, the administration announced on Friday.

The action will restrict all foreign nationals who have been to China — other than immediate family of American citizens and permanent residents — from entering the United States.

Earlier today, U.S. citizens were warned by the State Department to not travel to China, and any U.S. citizen returning from China will soon have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Beginning on Feb. 2, any United States citizen returning home who has been in the Hubei province of China within the past 14 days will be quarantined for up to 14 days, administration officials said. Those who have been to other parts of China within the past 14 days will be subject to “proactive entry screening” and up to 14 days of monitoring and self quarantine.

With the cancellation of Middlebury, CET, SYA and NSLI-Y programs, among others, students have returned to the U.S. to make alternative plans for the spring semester. At 11:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 1, the last Middlebury student to leave Beijing arrived in the U.S. and thus a five-day repatriation process was complete for 24 CET students. While not under formal quarantine, those returning from China are encouraged to spend up to 14 days in semi-isolation and monitor symptoms, as well as close contacts.

Since the last update, I have been featured on NPR, the Boston Globe and the Middlebury Campus, discussing the situation in Beijing and providing details on the repatriation process for our students.

We thank our colleagues at Middlebury Schools Abroad and CET for their invaluable assistance with the repatriation process. We are happy to confirm that all students have arrived in the U.S. safely and those who chose to reenroll in Middlebury will receive additional information on courses and housing in the coming days. While possibly not on a daily basis, we anticipate posting further updates should there be a need to inform our students and the community at large.

And one final note:

Categories: China 2020

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Wuhan Coronavirus: Updates - Off the Silk Road · February 3, 2020 at 1:07 am

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