Wuhan virus: Philippine carriers cancel flights to China over coronavirus

The decision came after the World Health Organization designated the outbreak a global public health emergency.

The outbreak prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a public health emergency of global concern earlier this week so as to ensure all nations take necessary preparatory measures.

Only one resident per household is allowed to go out every two days to buy necessities and 46 highway toll stations have been closed, authorities announced. A second hospital is set to open soon after.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte approved a ban on the entry of all non-citizens from China.

Other countries including New Zealand, Russia, Japan, Pakistan and Italy have also announced similar travel restrictions. "We try to keep families together whenever possible", said government spokesperson Sylvain Leclerc, in an email statement, "and we have raised this with [the] Government of China".

Wuhan officials estimate about 5 million people had left the city for the annual Lunar New Year holiday before authorities canceled all outbound flights, trains and buses in an unprecedented lockdown on January 23.

People who die from 2019-nCoV must be cremated nearby and no funeral services will be held, according to an announcement yesterday from the country's National Health Commission.

Canadian Megan Millward, who was visiting her in-laws at a small village in Hubei with her husband and two children, said that she was anxious by a shortage of medical help in the province as well as her family splitting up.

Meanwhile, six officials in the city of Huanggang, neighbouring the epicentre of Wuhan, were fired over "poor performance" in handling the outbreak, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

In other moves, the country extended the Spring Festival holiday and the closure of businesses, and postponed the opening of the new school semesters.

Zhejiang province has the highest number of confirmed cases outside central Hubei province at 661 confirmed infections, with 265 of those in Wenzhou. Of the seven confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in the USA, all of the patients had traveled to China recently, except for a man in Chicago who contracted the virus from his wife after she visited China.

The United States has banned non-citizens who have recently travelled in China from entering its borders. Apart from damaging China's worldwide reputation, such steps could worsen a domestic economy already growing at its lowest rate in decades.

"We're not trying to pose a health risk".

The crisis is the latest to confront Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who has been beset by months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong, the reelection of Taiwan's pro-independence president and criticism over human rights violations in the traditionally Muslim territory of Xinjiang.

Countries including Japan, Britain, France and the USA have scrambled to evacuate their nationals from Wuhan, with more governments planning airlifts. South Korea now has 15 cases.

"If strict control measures had been taken earlier the result would have been better than now", said Ma Guoqiang, the Communist Party chief for Wuhan.

- Anyone entering the US who has been in China's Hubei province in the last two weeks will be subject to a two-week quarantine.

The NHC reported the number of new cases of virus detection within last 24 hours rose to 2,590.

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