China is struggling to contain rising public anger over its response to a spreading coronavirus even as it took unprecedented steps to slow the outbreak, restricting travel for 40 million people on the eve of Lunar New Year. Beyond the restricted area at the epicenter of the outbreak, major closures took place across the country amid the health fears.
China on Thursday locked down two cities at the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak that has killed 17 people and infected nearly 600, as health authorities around the world took action to prevent a global pandemic. Health officials fear the transmission rate will accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel at home and abroad during week-long holidays for the Lunar New Year, which begins on Saturday.
A new virus that has killed nine people is adapting and mutating, underscoring the challenges for health authorities in controlling the outbreak, a Chinese health official said on Wednesday. The virus, originating in the central city of Wuhan at the end of last year, has spread to Beijing and Shanghai, as well as overseas to the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
Chinese authorities have confirmed a deadly virus that has infected more than 200 people in four countries can be transmitted via human-to-human contact. The confirmation comes as airports around the world introduced temperature screening, with hundreds of millions of Chinese people traveling home and abroad for the Lunar New Year holiday. Four people have died so far, while cases have also been confirmed in Thailand, Japan and South Korea.
An outbreak of a new coronavirus in China has spread to more cities, Chinese authorities said on Monday, as the number of patients tripled and a third person died, stoking concerns about containment of the illness. South Korea on Monday reported its first confirmed case of the coronavirus, a 35-year-old female Chinese national who had traveled from Wuhan, the fourth patient to be reported outside China.
China’s birth rate has fallen to its lowest since the formation of the People’s Republic of China 70 years ago – despite the easing of the one-child policy. The birth rate was 10.48 per thousand in 2019 – the lowest since 1949, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The country’s birth rate has been falling for years – posing a challenge for the world’s second biggest economy.
At least six people have been killed and another 16 injured after a massive sinkhole opened up and swallowed a bus and pedestrians in China. Pictures of the road collapse outside a hospital in the city of Xining, in Qinghai province, showed the vehicle almost entirely underground near a bus stop. The cause of the incident is being investigated, the state-run broadcaster CCTV said.
Three scientists who claimed to be behind the first-ever gene-edited babies have been handed prison sentences for illegal medical practice, Chinese state media has said. Lead researcher He Jiankui sparked controversy last year when he claimed to have created the infants by altering the DNA of embryos for several couples during fertility treatments. Xinhua news agency said he was given a three-year prison sentence.
British supermarket giant Tesco suspended a Chinese supplier of Christmas cards on Sunday after a press report said a customer found a message written inside a card saying it had been packed by foreign prisoners. The Sunday Times said the message inside the card read: “We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qingpu Prison China. Forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights organization.”
Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil has been removed from Konami’s eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) 2020 computer game in China over his comments about the country’s treatment of its Uighur Muslims. Ozil, a German Muslim of Turkish origin, posted messages of social media last week calling minority Uighurs “warriors who resist persecution” and criticized both China’s crackdown and the silence of Muslims in response.