The 17 Portuguese detained in Wuhan, a Chinese city under quarantine, were notified that the flight they were scheduled to be taken from tonight was postponed to Saturday, they told Lusa.
The flight left Portugal on Thursday for Paris and should have left today for Hanoi and then to Wuhan, in central China, to rescue European citizens, including the 17 Portuguese.
China raised the balance of the pneumonia outbreak caused by a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to 213 dead and nearly 10,000 infected at the end of the year in Wuhan, capital of central Hubei province.
In addition to the mainland of China and the Chinese regions of Macau and Hong Kong, there are more than 50 confirmed cases of infection in 20 other countries – Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Nepal, Malaysia, United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Australia, Finland, United Arab Emirates, Cambodia, Philippines and India.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Thursday an international public health emergency (PHEIC) due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus in China.
Several countries have already started repatriating their citizens from Wuhan, a city of 56 million that was quarantined last week, with exits and entrances banned by the authorities for an indefinite period, and several companies have suspended air connections with the China.
The European Commission activated the European Civil Protection Mechanism on Tuesday, at the request of France.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that live in other animals (for example, birds, bats, small mammals) and that in humans usually cause respiratory diseases, from a common cold to more severe cases, such as pneumonia.
Coronaviruses can be transmitted between animals and people. Most strains of coronavirus circulate among animals and do not even infect humans. In fact, so far, only six strains of coronavirus among the thousands that exist have crossed the species barrier and reached people.
China’s new coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV, is a virus from the same family as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome virus (which caused atypical pneumonia and hit the world in 2002-2003) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome , in 2012.
These two types of coronavirus are the ones that have been able to cross the species barrier and transmit to humans up to now and that present conditions of some severity.
Where has the coronavirus already arrived?
China: 170 dead and 7,700 confirmed cases across the country.
Macao: seven cases are confirmed.
Hong Kong: ten people have the disease. Some of them passed through Wuhan.
Tibet: one case was reported.
Japan: Japan’s health authorities confirmed 11 cases, including the first two in the country of human-to-human transmission.
Malaysia: eight confirmed cases, all Chinese, which are hospitalized. The patient’s condition is stable.
Singapore: ten confirmed cases. All patients arrived from Wuhan.
South Korea: four confirmed cases.
Taiwan: Eight cases have been confirmed so far, including two Chinese women, 70, who arrived in the country as part of a tourist group on January 22.
Thailand: 14 infections confirmed on Tuesday, the highest rate outside China.
Vietnam: two confirmed cases. There are two Chinese, a man who arrived on January 13 from Wuhan and his son, who lives in the city of Ho Chi Minh, in southern Vietnam.
Nepal: a 32-year-old man from Wuhan is caught the virus. The patient, who was initially quarantined, recovered and was discharged.
Cambodia: the Cambodian Ministry of Health reported the first case on Monday.
Sri Lanka: the first case on the island was confirmed on 27 January: a 43-year-old Chinese tourist who arrived from Hubei province.
Australia: seven confirmed cases.
U.S: five confirmed cases. All those affected traveled directly from Wuhan, officials said.
Canada: confirmed the first case of the virus on Monday, a man who traveled to Wuhan, and reported a second case – his wife – who made the trip with him.
France: five confirmed cases, one in Bordeaux and four in Paris.
Germany: four confirmed cases. All in Bavaria and employees of the same company.
Finland: first case confirmed on Wednesday, a Chinese tourist from Wuhan.
United Arab Emirates: four cases confirmed on Wednesday, all members of a Chinese family from Wuhan.
Russia: confirmed on Friday, January 31, the first two cases of the new coronavirus in its territory and announced the withdrawal of its citizens from various Chinese regions as a result of the epidemic.