Since Monday 20 January 2020, China has announced that a new type of coronavirus has appeared on its soil. Transmissible from man to man, this new virus is spreading alarm throughout the world. Videos of several medical staff in full-length suits do not help the climate of fear that has prevailed since the first case was discovered. Countries bordering China are beginning to prepare for the spread of the virus. Several cases have been recorded on different continents, including one in the United States and Australia. Three days after the announcement of the first infection, 17 deaths were announced by the Chinese authorities and more than 500 cases of infection were recorded, figures that could be minimized. As a new WHO meeting takes place on Thursday, 23 January 2020, the world is waiting to hear more about this new disease and its possible consequences.
What is a coronavirus ?
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that are spread in both humans and animals. Most human coronaviruses cause upper respiratory disease, mild or moderate. Transmission of the virus occurs via the air, through direct contact with secretions, or through a contaminated object.
The Forbidden City closed, two metropolitan areas quarantined.
On January 23, 2020, at 10 a.m. local time, the Chinese government announced that it was cancelling the next New Year celebrations in Beijing. They will therefore not take place in the capital of the Middle Kingdom. The Forbidden City also closes its doors until further notice and this is not the only drastic measures taken in the last few hours.
Two cities are under quarantine. Wuhan first, a city of 11 million people, presented as the heart of the epidemic, whose planes and trains are nailed to the ground. “Residents should not leave Wuhan without a specific reason,” the city authorities said. But also Huanggang, 7 million inhabitants, the city stopped the circulation of buses, trains and closed cinemas and cybercafés.
Where are we in France ?
According to Agnès Buzin, Minister of health; as of January 23, 2020, no cases have been diagnosed in Hexagon. “Health authorities are able to diagnose in a matter of hours,” she said. She spoke after a crisis meeting that ended in the middle of the afternoon. As for the United States, all flights from China have been redirected to three airports with gantry cranes capable of detecting the temperature of passengers.
At present, it is difficult to predict the magnitude or severity of this coronavirus. Several countries are working to develop a vaccine, with the greatest fear that the virus will mutate and spread more rapidly. Only time will tell and we will learn more about this disease.