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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.

  • The U.S. State Department raised its travel advisory for China to "Level 3: Reconsider travel" this week because of the virus. Last week, the department raised the advisory for the Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, to "Level 4: Do Not Travel."
  • Officials in China have extended the Lunar New Year holiday until Feb. 2, instead of Jan. 30 as scheduled, in an attempt to stop people from traveling and spreading the respiratory illness, Bloomberg reports.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Beijing plans to evacuate its Wuhan consulate personnel and some private citizens on a limited-capacity charter flight to San Francisco, per AP, which reports that those "at greater risk from coronavirus" would be prioritized over others.

Impact in the U.S.: Five Americans — all of whom traveled in Wuhan, China, and are now in California (2), Arizona, Washington state, and Chicago — have contracted the virus.

What's happening: The number of confirmed cases in China has increased to more than 4,500, according to the country's National Health Commission. Health officials confirmed earlier last week that the virus, which causes fever and respiratory symptoms, can be passed from person to person.

  • Major cities in China, including Beijing, have canceled large public gatherings for the Lunar New Year holiday, the most important in the country, to help contain the outbreak, according to the Washington Post.
  • Wuhan is quickly building a pre-fabricated 1,000-bed hospital to treat only patients infected with coronavirus, as other hospitals struggle to meet demand and deal with a shortage of supplies.
  • The Chinese government this past week locked down the cities of Wuhan, Huanggang and Ezhou, collectively home to nearly 20 million people, AP reports.

The big picture: Several countries in the region are also experiencing cases, and North Korea is temporarily banning foreign tourists in response to the outbreak, according to Reuters.

  • On Monday, Australia confirmed its fifth case after diagnosing its first on Saturday.
  • The first case in Canada was confirmed by health officials Saturday after a patient presented with symptoms in Toronto.
  • In France, the country's Health Minister Agnès Buzyn confirmed two patients were hospitalized in Paris with the illness. The other case is in the southwestern city of Bordeaux, per Reuters.

What they're saying: The World Health Organization decided last week that it's "too early" to declare an international health emergency.

  • "Make no mistake, this is an emergency in China, but it is not yet a global health emergency," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference.
  • "People's lives and health should be given top priority and the spread of the outbreak should be resolutely curbed," Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday, according to Reuters.

What's next: A possible live animal source is still being investigated in China. There is no specific treatment for the virus, though several antivirals and experimental vaccines are under investigation.

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This story has been updated with more recent developments.

Go deeper

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.