More from Australia (where your current correspondent is):
Australia’s foreign minister Marise Payne has said the Australian government is working with Chinese authorities to “consider possible assistance with travel for Australians from areas that are affected by Chinese travel restrictions”.
“Given the circumstances of the spread of the Coronavirus, Chinese authorities are currently imposing very tight restrictions on all travel from Hubei. We are seeking advice from the Chinese authorities on these restrictions and whether any options are available to international travellers.”
Other countries, including the US and France, are putting into place plans to evacuate their citizens.
Australia’s chief medical officer has warned it is likely there will be more cases of the coronavirus in the country, following confirmation of four cases.
Professor Brendan Murphy said he would be sending out a message to GPs across the country on how to handle patients who present with symptoms of the deadly illness.
Three men are in hospital in Sydney after flying in from China, while another man in his 50s is being treated in Melbourne. All have a direct link to Wuhan, having either visited the city recently or been in direct contact with a confirmed case from that city.
Coronavirus has killed 56 people in China and the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, remains in lockdown. More than 2,000 people in China have been infected.
Cases have also been confirmed in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Singapore, Vietnam, France and Malaysia.
“There is no cause for general concern,” Murphy told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday.
“I would not be surprised if there are some more cases … it’s highly likely that we may see them some more.
“We are incredibly well-prepared to isolate and deal with that.”
More details on countries trying to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan city and from Hubei province. The US government is flying its personnel out, directly to San Francisco, with a limited capacity for other Americans most at risk from coronavirus.
The US consulate in the epidemic-stricken Chinese city of Wuhan will evacuate its personnel and some private citizens aboard a charter flight Tuesday.
A notice Sunday from the embassy in Beijing said there would be limited capacity to transport US citizens on the flight that will proceed directly to San Francisco.
It said that in the event there are not enough seats, priority will be given to to individuals “at greater risk from coronavirus”, a new respiratory disease that has sickened 1,975 people and killed 56, almost all in Wuhan.
China’s travel restrictions to restrict the spread of coronavirus appear to be widening further. At least 13 cities, covering 36 million people, are already living under lockdowns and travel restrictions.
Now reports are emerging that the city of Shantou in Guangdong Province, population 5.3 million, will be put on lockdown.
Starting at 2pm local time on Saturday, buses, ferries, and taxi services will cease. From Monday (27 January) no cars, boats or people will be allowed into the city, except for emergency purposes.
Shantou is more than 800km from Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic.
China’s second-largest city Shanghai, now has 40 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
Asian stock markets have so far taken a bit of a hit from concerns about the coronavirus.
There were some steep losses on Chinese and Hong Kong markets especially, but nothing to upset the global equilibrium so far.
The Dow Jones industrial average is only around 400 points of its all-time high of 29,369 earlier this month.
That could change on Monday when markets reopen after a weekend that has seen the outbreak worsen in China and spread to Europe and Australia.
However, Chinese markets will be closed all week for the lunar new year so will be insulated from any losses for now.
If history is any guide, and somewhat extraordinarily, global pandemics appear to have little impact on markets:
Hong Kong has declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The city has reported five confirmed cases of coronavirus: all of those patients have direct links to Wuhan. Health authorities say there are a further 122 patients being treated as potentially having the disease.
The city’s chief executive Carrie Lam said her government had cancelled Lunar New Year’s celebrations, and that it would close primary and secondary schools for two further weeks beyond the new year holiday. Schools will reopen 17 February.
Lam said all direct flights and trains from Wuhan would be blocked from entering Hong Kong.
France and a major car manufacturer said Saturday that they are moving to get citizens out of a locked-down Chinese city where a deadly outbreak of a new virus originated and has spread worldwide.
French automaker PSA Group says it will evacuate its employees and their families from Wuhan in central China, quarantine them in another major Chinese city and then bring them back to France.
The Foreign Ministry said French officials were studying “eventual options” for all its nationals to leave if they wish.
It comes a day after France announced three cases of the new virus were being treated in two French hospitals, the first confirmed cases in Europe. All the patients are Chinese nationals who had recently returned from China.
Other countries have made similar moves.
The United States is preparing to evacuate its consular staff and citizens from Wuhan. About 1,000 US citizens are estimated to be in Wuhan. The US consulate in the city is closed and all diplomats have been ordered to leave.
The logistics of how the Americans will leave, where they will go and what will be allowed by Chinese authorities, is currently being worked through by the US State Department, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
AFP have filed a few pictures from Wuhan, which has been in lockdown for several days.
Chinese president Xi Jinping says his country faces a “grave situation” in tackling the escalating coronavirus crisis. He has called for a greater centralisation of containment efforts, and increasing government control.
“Life is of paramount importance. When an epidemic breaks out, a command is issued. It is our responsibility to prevent and control it,” Xi told a meeting of the standing committee of the political bureau of the Chinese Communist party, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.
Sunday has brought an increase in the proportion of deaths outside of Hubei province, the epicentre of the pandemic. State media is reporting that Shanghai has recorded its first death, as well as Henan province.
Tianjin city has announced it will shut all inter-provincial shuttle buses from 27 January (Monday) to curb the coronavirus outbreak.
Revised death toll now at 56
State media in China is now reporting the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak is 56. All of the known deaths from the virus have occurred within China.
Nearly 2,000 cases have been confirmed, and there are another 2,600 suspected cases.
To Canada next where health officials in Toronto have added a slight qualification to their initial statements saying that they had a confirmed case of novel coronavirus. They say the case is “presumptive” which means they’re waiting for definitive lab tests after initial tests at a provincial lab showed it was the virus.
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre had said on Saturday night local time that it was caring for a man is his 50s who had recently flown from Wuhan to Guangzhou and then on to Toronto on 23 January. “He really wasn’t in Toronto very long. He wasn’t feeling well. I think he was at home and the people that live with him are in self isolation,” said Dr Barbara Yafe, Ontario’s associated chief medical officer.
But Eileen de Villa, head of the city’s public health agency, said at a press conference in the last hour that “We have the first presumptive case confirmed of this novel coronavirus here.”
More on the latest figures on victims in China. The toll stood at 41 on Saturday but 13 fatalities have been added overnight to make 54 deaths so far. The Hubei health ministry says seven of the latest deaths were from that province with the remainder elsewhere in China, marking a rise in the proportion of deaths outside the epicentre region.
There were also another 323 people infected, taking the nationwide total to more than 1,600. Only 46 of the new confirmed cases were in Hubei, the ministry said.
Welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in China and around the world. These are the main developments today:
- Officials in China said on Sunday that the death toll has risen to 54 and the number of people infected is more than 1,600.
- Chinese president Xi Jinping says the country faces a “grave situation” as it battle to contain the fast-spreading contagion.
- Lunar new year celebrations were subdued across China on Saturday with an estimated 50 million people subject to travel restrictions in the epicentre Wuhan and the rest of Hubei province.
- The outbreak has spread to many other Asian countries and three other continets with cases confirmed in Australia, France and the United States.
- A man in his 50s was confirmed as the first case in Canada on Saturday night. He had recently flown from Wuhan to Guangzhou in southern China and then on to Toronto on 23 January.
- The British Foreign Office has advised citizens against all travel to Hubei province.
- French carmaker PSA, which makes brands including Peugeot and Citroen, on Saturday said it would repatriate expat staff from the Wuhan region where it has 38.
- Researchers are racing to work out if infections have been caused by animal to human contact, which would limit the spread, or whether the majority are being caused by human to human transmission.
- Li Bin, vice minister at the national health commission, will hold a media conference in Beijing about the outbreak at 3pm local time today.