Fri, 25 Sep 2020

Hong Kong [China], Jan 25 (ANI): Hong Kong on Saturday declared the outbreak of the new strain of SARS virus as an emergency, the city's highest warning tier and cancelled all official celebrations for the Chinese New Year.

"Today I declare the lifting of the response level to the emergency," said Chief Executive Carrie Lam, in a bid to ramp up measures to reduce the risk of further spread of infections, Bangkok Post reported.

The officials also said that four task forces were being set up in the city to work to contain the crisis and that all visitors from mainland China would have to sign health declaration forms.

Lam said that all official visits to the mainland and official Lunar New Year celebrations would be scrapped immediately.

The Chief Executive also said that she had sought assistance from China's State Council to ensure the mask supplies were adequate.

The city's health authorities have confirmed five coronavirus cases, all linked to Wuhan, where the virus first appeared, with a further 122 people being treated as suspected of having the disease.

Hong Kong also halted all flight operations and rail services to Wuhan indefinitely.

In the southern island province of Hainan, the city of Sanya has shut down all tourist sites to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the municipal government said on Saturday.

Sanya is one of the favourite tourist destinations during the week-long Lunar New Year holiday which lasts until January 30.

The coronavirus has killed 41 people and infected at least 1,287 in the mainland. Health authorities around the world are taking action to prevent a global pandemic as the virus continues to spread, with cases reported in Australia, France, the United States and seven Asian countries besides China, according to Al Jazeera.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has acknowledged that the respiratory illness, which has been traced to the city of Wuhan, is an emergency in China but is too early to declare it a global health emergency. (ANI)

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