Jan 26, 2020

Pope Francis praises China's "commitment" on coronavirus

Pope Francis, Jan. 26. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis on Sunday prayed for those killed or infected by the coronavirus outbreak in China and praised the Chinese government’s “great commitment” to contain the virus, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The new coronavirus strain, which originated in Wuhan, China, has killed 56 people and infected nearly 1,975.

What he's saying: “I would like also to be close to and pray for the people who are sick because of the virus that has spread through China," Francis said, according to Reuters.

  • “May the Lord welcome the dead into his peace, comfort families and sustain the great commitment by the Chinese community that has already been put in place to combat the epidemic."

Go deeper: WHO: The coronavirus outbreak is not yet a global emergency

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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

Coronavirus updates: California monitors 8,400 potential cases

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.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 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