January 30, 2020 / 11:26 PM / 21 days ago

Latest on the coronavirus spreading in China and beyond

(Reuters) - A coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan, the capital of China’s central province of Hubei, has spread to more than 9,800 people globally, surpassing the total from the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic. The new virus has killed 213 people.

FILE PHOTO: Air travellers wear masks as they arrive at Ivalo Airport, Finland January 24, 2020. On Thursday, two tourists visiting Finland from Wuhan, China went to a health centre in Ivalo, seeking treatment for flu-like symptoms. The tourists are suspected of being infected with the coronavirus. Lehtikuva/Tarmo Lehtosalo via REUTERS

Here is what we know:

** There are 131 confirmed cases in 23 countries and regions outside mainland China, including Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and the United States.

** No deaths have been reported outside China.

** The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on Thursday.

** The United States reported its first case of person-to-person transmission. Germany, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea have also recorded similar transmissions, which suggest greater potential for the virus to spread.

** Several Chinese cities have levied strict travel curbs.

** The U.S. State Department told Americans not to travel to China.

** Japan advised its citizens to put off non-urgent travel to China and brought forward special measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

** Global airlines have suspended or scaled back direct flights to China’s major cities.

** Countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the United States are working to evacuate citizens from Wuhan or have already started.

** A charter flight carrying 368 South Koreans from Wuhan landed in Seoul. The evacuees were taken to quarantine centres.

** A plane carrying 83 British and 27 other foreign nationals left Wuhan, the British government said.

** Authorities in Myanmar turned back a China Southern flight from Guangzhou with almost everyone on board after one of the passengers was found with flu symptoms similar to the coronavirus, a government spokesman said.

** Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam rejected calls from a medical union to close the border with mainland China to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

** China’s aviation authority sent two flights to bring back its tourists stranded in Thailand and Malaysia.

** China will release winter and spring vegetable reserves in major northern cities to ease supply shortages amid the new coronavirus outbreak, state news agency Xinhua reported.

** The Chinese Football Association said it would postpone domestic games in 2020.

** The World Athletics Indoor Championships scheduled in the Chinese city of Nanjing in March have been postponed until 2021.

** The coronavirus should have little impact on the U.S. economy, President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser said.

** China’s capital Beijing said that companies in the province will postpone reopening until Feb. 10 in order to help prevent the spread of a new coronavirus, government newspaper Beijing Daily reported.

** Some experts believe the virus is not as dangerous as the 2002-03 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that killed nearly 800 people, or the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which has killed more than 700 people since 2012.

Compiled by Stephen Coates, Editing by Bill Berkrot, Christopher Cushing and Timothy Heritage

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