From rising death toll to traveller restrictions: five must-read stories on coronavirus

28 January 2020 - 06:14 By Cebelihle Bhengu
A girl wears a mask as she walks past a scanning machine that monitors people's temperature at Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake, Sri Lanka, on January 24 2020.
A girl wears a mask as she walks past a scanning machine that monitors people's temperature at Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake, Sri Lanka, on January 24 2020.
Image: REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

The coronavirus outbreak in China has become a global cause for concern, with cases reported in Australia and France. The death toll has risen to 81, while 3,000 people have been infected with it, according to BBC.

Here are five must-read stories on coronavirus:

New virus detected

In January, Chinese officials reported the outbreak of coronavirus, which was discovered in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Experts initially said they didn't know how easily the virus could spread or where it originated.

This saw authorities in the US, Thailand and South Korea screen visitors from Wuhan. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) advised against travel restrictions for China.

Virus continues to spread

By Tuesday last week, the virus had claimed four lives. Coronavirus reportedly has genetic similarities to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which killed 650 people in mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002 and 2003. 

Great Wall and other activities closed to halt spread of virus 

To prevent the spread of the virus, authorities cancelled activities at the Great Wall, Ming Tombs and Yinshan Pagoda by Friday last week, with tourists forced to undergo temperature tests to ensure they were not infected.

Authorities also announced that the Bird's Nest, where an ice and snow show was taking place, would be closed until January 30.

OR Tambo preventing the spill into SA

On Thursday last week, officials from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg  said measures were in place to prevent the spread of the virus into SA.

40-million travellers restricted

As millions sought to travel for one of China's biggest holidays, the Lunar New Year, authorities were forced to restrict more than 40-million people from travelling locally and internationally.

The Chinese government has been criticised for its perceived failure to prevent the spread of the virus. TimesLIVE reported that some people did not show signs of fever, a symptom authorities had used to identify people to be screened for the virus.

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