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World News

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 8,100 people globally, surpassing the total from the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic. The new virus has killed 170 people.

People wear face masks as they line up at the checkout in a supermarket in Beijing, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, January 25, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Here is what we know:

** By Thursday, the death toll in China had risen to 170. Another 8,100 people across the world had been infected.

** There are 104 confirmed cases of infection outside mainland China, including 14 cases in Thailand, 11 in Japan, 10 in Hong Kong and Singapore, eight in Taiwan, seven in Macau, Australia and Malaysia and five in the United States and France.

** No deaths have been reported outside China.

The previously unknown coronavirus strain is believed to have emerged late last year from illegally traded wildlife at a market in Wuhan, a city of 11 million.

** The World Health Organisation will meet on Thursday to decide whether its rapid spread amounts to a global health emergency.

** Several Chinese cities have levied strict travel curbs.

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.

** Nearly 200 evacuated Americans arrived at a U.S. military base in California to be isolated for at least 72 hours.

** Three Japanese evacuated on a government-chartered flight proved to be infected, including two who had not shown symptoms.

** 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.

** Alphabet Inc's GOOGL.O Google and Sweden's IKEA said they were temporarily shutting all offices and stores in China over the outbreak.

** 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 Clarence Fernandez and Nick Macfie

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