Jan 29, 2020

Australia to quarantine coronavirus evacuees on Christmas Island

Detainees walk inside the now-closed Immigration Detention Center compound on Christmas Island in February 2012. Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told a news conference Wednesday the country's national airline Qantas would evacuate "isolated and vulnerable" Australians at risk from coronavirus in China and quarantine them on Christmas Island.

The big picture: Authorities would prioritize evacuating children and elderly people in the virus-hit city of Wuhan to the island, an Australian territory some 870 miles from Indonesia notorious for its now-closed refugee detention center. Citizens would also be evacuated from China's Hubei province, Morrison said. It's a joint evacuation with New Zealand, which has about 50 affected citizens. Australia has 600.

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How the world is responding to the coronavirus outbreak

Waiting and worrying at the airport in Manila. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

China reacted furiously today to a U.S. decision to deny entry to all foreign nationals who had been to China in the past two weeks, denouncing it as a violation of WHO advice that would only spread fear.

The big picture: Some public health experts warn that travel bans are ineffective in fighting outbreaks and discourage international cooperation and transparency. But several governments are now employing them amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Global viewArrowFeb 4, 2020 - World

World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

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 pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 859,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 14 hours ago - Health

CDC quarantines 195 U.S. citizens evacuated from Wuhan amid coronavirus concerns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a 14-day federal quarantine order for 195 U.S. citizens who were evacuated directly from Wuhan, China amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: This is the first time the CDC has ordered a quarantine in nearly 50 years. The last time was in the 1960s to protect against smallpox. CDC officials emphasized this is purely preventative since the U.S. citizens were directly exposed to the coronavirus in Wuhan.

Go deeperArrowJan 31, 2020 - Health