Jan 25, 2020

China uses coronavirus to increase centralization

Excavators rush construction of a 1,000-bed field hospital in Wuhan, China. Photo: Getty Images

Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who has said little publicly about the growing coronavirus crisis, now has ordered mobilization across the country and drastic measures to hold back the contagion, the New York Times reports.

What he's saying: "Confronted with the grave situation of this accelerating spread of pneumonia from infections with the novel coronavirus, we must step up the centralized and united leadership under the party central” leadership.

The latest: Hong Kong, where five cases of the illness have been confirmed, said it would close schools for two weeks, per AP.

  • Today is Lunar New Year, a traditional time of travel. But China is locking down at least three cities with a combined population of over 18 million.
  • 41 people have died globally from the coronavirus strain that originated in Wuhan, China, AP reports — and the respiratory illness has made its way to Europe, with France confirming three cases.

Wuhan banned private cars downtown.

  • A stat that gives you a sense of the scale of these cities: Wuhan, population: 11 million, will assign 6,000 taxis to specific neighborhoods.

The big picture: The deadly coronavirus has not yet sufficiently spread internationally to designate the outbreak as a global health emergency, the World Health Organization announced on Jan. 23.

Go deeper: Death toll climbs in coronavirus outbreak

Go deeper

Hong Kong cuts rail links to mainland China due to coronavirus

A woman wears a protective mask as she walks across the Yangtze River Bridge in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 27. Photo: Getty Images

106 people have died from an outbreak of a coronavirus strain that originated in Wuhan, China, the country's National Health Commission said on Monday.

The latest: Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Tuesday that the semiautonomous city would cut its rail links to mainland China and flights would be reduced, though the measures stopped short of a total closure of the border, per the AP.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 28, 2020

World coronavirus updates: World Bank warns economic pain unavoidable

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has caused a "global shock" and significant economic pain "seems unavoidable in all countries," the World Bank said in an economic update for
East Asia and the Pacific on Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 786,000 and the death toll exceeded 37,800 early Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 11,500 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus global death toll surpasses SARS

A medical staff member walks past Wuhan Central Hospital in China on Friday. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, has now killed more people than the 2003 SARS outbreak, the latest health figures show.

What's happening: Health authorities in China's Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, reported 81 new deaths from the virus on Saturday — taking the toll in the region to 780. China's National Health Commission confirmed later Saturday that a total of 811 people have died of coronavirus in the country.

Go deeperArrowFeb 9, 2020 - Health