China expands curbs to halt coronavirus spread

China expands curbs to halt coronavirus spread
China expands curbs to halt coronavirus spread

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Xi held a politburo meeting on Saturday on measures to fight the 'accelerating' outbreak, state television reported.

President Xi Jinping said China was facing a 'grave situation' as the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak jumped to 41, overshadowing celebrations of the Lunar New Year that began on Saturday.

China also announced further transport restrictions.

Australia confirmed its first four cases on Saturday, Malaysia confirmed four and France reported Europe's first cases on Friday, as health authorities around the world scrambled to prevent a pandemic.

The United States is arranging a charter flight on Sunday to bring its citizens and diplomats back from Wuhan, the city that is the epicentre of the outbreak, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Xi held a politburo meeting on Saturday on measures to fight the 'accelerating' outbreak, state television reported.

The death toll in China has risen to 41, authorities reported on Saturday, up from 26 a day earlier. Nearly 1,400 people in China had been infected with the virus.

The virus has also been detected in Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Nepal, and the United States.

In Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, officials appealed for masks and protective suits.

Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing said it was halting inter-city services to and from Beijing from Sunday, while the capital will also stop running inter-province shuttle buses.

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