The virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has killed at least 17 people and infected hundreds more around the world. The cities are Wuhan, where the illness has been concentrated, and nine of its neighbours in central China's Hubei province.
The Chinese city of Wuhan is rapidly building a new 1,000-bed hospital to treat victims of the new coronavirus, mobilising machinery to get it ready by early next week, state media said. The facility will be a prefabricated structure on a 25,000- square-meter (270,000-square-foot) lot, slated for completion February 3.
A man is being treated at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for symptoms associated with the potentially fatal Wuhan coronavirus.
In its advice to the public, the PHA said: "Individuals should seek medical attention if they develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of visiting Wuhan, either in China or on their return to the UK". Masks were mandatory in public. In addition to the train station, airport, ferry, subway and bus services were also halted.
Asked if face masks could provide protection, Professor Cosford said PHE was not advising people to use face masks at the moment, but is monitoring developments carefully. So far, the hospital is limiting the flagging of patients to those who've travelled to Wuhan, as opposed to all of China. Administrators at Wuhan University People's Hospital set up a group chat on the popular WeChat messaging app to co-ordinate donations.More news: France, US agree to extend talks over digital tax
Schools and other academic institutions with students from China have also taken additional precautions as a result of the outbreak.
The outbreak comes just before the lunar new year is celebrated tomorrow, ahead of which many Chinese have been criss-crossing the country to see their families over the holiday period. It's also a major rail hub with multiple lines linking it to major cities, and a renowned education center. Health officials there said a man who returned to Seattle from Wuhan last week is hospitalized in good condition with pneumonia.
It comes as China widened a lockdown in Hubei province - the centre of the coronavirus outbreak - as the death toll climbed to 26. He died following a sudden cardiac arrest on January 23.
Symptoms of the virus embody fever, cough and shortness of breath.
The vast majority of cases have been in and around Wuhan, but people who visited or had personal connections to infected people were among the scattered cases counted beyond the mainland.More news: Meghan Markle’s dad: She owes me for what I’ve been through
As of Thursday midnight, five confirmed cases had been reported in Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions and Taiwan, with two in Hong Kong, two in Macao and one in Taiwan.
The World Health Organization has declined to designate the virus an "international emergency", but the WHO's director general said: "It may yet become one". The declaration can increase resources to fight a threat but its potential to cause economic damage makes the decision politically fraught.
Professor Jurgen Haas, head of infection medicine at the University of Edinburgh, said: "The situation will be similar in pretty much all United Kingdom cities with a large number of Chinese students". While sweeping measures are typical of China's Communist Party-led government, large-scale quarantines are rare around the world, even in deadly epidemics, because of concerns about infringing on people's liberties.
The coronavirus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed almost 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. The market is closed for investigation.
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