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China's Hubei and Guangdong provinces declare first-level public health emergency

According to latest reports, the number of infected persons in China reached 644, and 18 people died from the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV

BEIJING, January 23. /TASS/. The authorities of the Chinese provinces of Hubei and Guangdong have descalred a first-level public health emergency over the outbreak of the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV. According to the statements released by the administrations of the two regions, all government departments have been mobilized in the effort to contain the outbreak.

The first-level public health emergency envisages mobilization of personnel, government departments and enterprises in fighting against the outbreak, as well as using all necessary materials and resources. In order to prevent the spread of the outbreak, local governments may cancel public events, temporarily suspend the operation of companies and educational institutions, restrict access to potentially dangerous areas, make temporary requisitions for houses, cars, equipment and other resources.

Local authorities may also restrict the freedom of movement and migration, institute epidemiological screening for people and transport, put residents into quarantine if they are suspected to have contracted the virus.

On December 31, the Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a new type of pneumonia in the city of Wuhan in central China. On January 7, Chinese specialists determined the virus behind the infection — coronavirus 2019-nCoV. Doctors say that the symptoms of the new coronavirus include running nose, cough, sore throat and chest tightness. Migraines and fever are also possible, and they can last for several days. The risk group includes people with a compromised immune system, such as the elderly and children. They present with symptoms similar to those of penumonia and bronchitis.

According to latest reports, the number of infected persons in China reached 644. Eighteen people died from the coronavirus. Several cases of the new coronavirus were also confirmed in other countries - three in Thailand, two in Vietnam, one each in South Korea, Singapore, Japan and the United States.