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Coronavirus scare: MEA begins process to evacuate Indians from Wuhan

Prime News, Nation, (New Delhi), January 28:-The Ministry of External Affairs has begun the process to prepare for the evacuation of Indian nationals from Wuhan, the epicentre of deadly virus outbreak.

Flag carrier Air India has kept one of its 423-seater jumbo plane ready in Mumbai for the evacuation. The decision follows the government instructions to various ministries to take steps to deal with the issue.

China on Tuesday urged its citizens to postpone trips abroad as the country expands a massive effort to contain a viral outbreak that has killed more than 100 people nationwide. The recommendation to delay non-essential travel was issued “in order to protect the health and safety of Chinese and foreign people”, the National Immigration Administration said in a statement.

Three suspected cases of coronavirus have been reported at Delhi’s Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML). The blood samples of three people — all men aged between 24 and 48 — have been sent to National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for testing. A man was also hospitalised in Pune on suspicion of possible exposure to the novel coronavirus during his recent visit to China, taking the total number of such admissions to six in Maharashtra so far, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Asian markets tumbled again on Tuesday, extending a global sell-off as the toll from a rapidly spreading Chinese virus spiked to more than 100 dead and thousands infected, with investors fretting over the impact on an already fragile world economy.

The death toll from a coronavirus outbreak in China has soared to 106 while nearly 1,300 new cases have been confirmed. As of Tuesday, more than 4,000 people have been infected across China, the bulk of them in and around Wuhan. Some reports have stated the symptoms of the infections as runny nose, sore throat, headache, fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, especially for those with weak immune system. There are currently no vaccines available to protect people against the infection that can be transmitted from human to human.

The deadly coronavirus has also affected people in Australia, Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Canada, United States, France and Germany.

China on Tuesday postponed the start of the spring semester for schools and universities across the country over concerns about a deadly virus outbreak. The decision came as the death toll from the new coronavirus soared to 106. Students are currently on holiday for the Lunar New Year and the education ministry did not provide a date for teaching to resume.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation has said it remained unclear if the deadly coronavirus spreading in China and beyond is contagious during its incubation period, before symptoms appear.

The virus, which can cause a pneumonia-like acute respiratory infection, has in a matter of weeks killed more than 80 people and infected some 2,740 in China, while cases have been identified in more than a dozen other countries. In a fresh report on the new virus, known as 2019nCoV, the UN health agency said current estimates put the incubation period for the virus at between two and 10 days.

Global stocks and oil also dropped as panicked investors fled risky assets for safer bets gold, bonds, the dollar and the yen, after China warned that a deadly new coronavirus was spreading fast. Luxury goods makers and airlines suffered particularly on equity markets, as Chinese tourist spending is a key factor for them. Shares of energy and technology companies were also weak.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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