The US has announced a plan to ‘funnel’ all air passengers from Wuhan, China, through one of five major airports to ensure they are screened for the killer coronavirus after the first case was diagnosed in America.
Centers for Disease Control officials outlined the ‘funneling approach’ which will see individual fliers and potentially entire planes rerouted on Tuesday after a 39-year-old American man was hospitalized with the virus in Washington state after returning home from China.
The deadly new coronavirus, a SARS-like disease, has killed 17 and sickened at least 526 people worldwide since the first cases were reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan about a month ago.
The virus is thought to have spread into humans from a seafood market ‘which illegally traded wild animals’ in Wuhan before travelers carried it to at least five other countries – Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and the United States.
Screening checkpoints have already been set up at Los Angeles International Airport, New York’s John F Kennedy airport and San Francisco International Airport.
New checkpoints will be introduced at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta later this week.
World Health Organization officials will meet on Wednesday to decide whether to declare the outbreak a ‘public health emergency of international concern’. Experts say its possible up to 10,000 people in China alone have been exposed to the virus.
The US announced a plan to ‘funnel’ all air passengers from Wuhan, China, through one of five major airports to ensure they are screened for the killer coronavirus after the first case was diagnosed in America on Tuesday. The virus is thought to have originated at a seafood market in the city of Wuhan, China, before spreading across the country, and then to Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea and the US
Screening checkpoints were set up at Los Angeles International Airport, New York’s John F Kennedy airport and San Francisco International Airport last week amid heightened concerns over the coronavirus. A passenger wearing a face mask is seen arriving at LAX on Tuesday
Dr Martin Cetron, director for the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the Centers for Disease Control, described the US plan to control the spread of coronavirus following a media briefing confirming the first American case on Tuesday.
Given how quickly the virus has spread, Cetron said the CDC has instructed the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Department to redirect anyone who tries to get from Wuhan to the US without going through any of those five airports.
Cetron described funneling as ‘a very complex process that involves reissuing tickets and rerouting passengers from all over the globe through connecting indirect flights’.
‘With increasing cases, we decided to move into this full-on, 100 percent coverage strategy, which means adding additional airports and … begin our funneling approach and redirect all the traffic to airports that have screening so that the benefit of the alert could be more completely covered,’ Cetron said.
CDC officials have also suggested the possibility of redirecting entire flights inbound from China through airports with screening checkpoints.
When a traveler is sent for a screening in the US, they are first required to take a survey.
If they appear to have any symptoms associated with coronavirus, they are taken to on-site triage for further examination and a temperature check.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday praised the CDC and said he is ‘not at all’ concerned about the possibility of a pandemic
Dr Martin Cetron (pictured), director for the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the Centers for Disease Control, described the plan following a media briefing on Tuesday where officials confirmed the first US case
WHAT IS THE NEW CORONAVIRUS SPREADING FROM CHINA?
An outbreak of pneumonia-like illnesses began in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019.
Its symptoms are typically a fever, cough and trouble breathing, but some patients have developed pneumonia, a potentially life-threatening infection that causes inflammation of the small air sacs in the lungs.
Scientists in China recognized its similarity to two viruses that turned into global killers: SARS and MERS.
SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome is caused by the SARS coronavirus, known as SARS Co, and first emerged in China in 2002.
By the end of the outbreak, the virus had spread to several other Asian countries as well as the UK and Canada, killing 774.
MERS, or Middle East respirator syndrome originated in the region for which it’s named, ultimately killed 787 people and belongs to the same family of coronaviruses as SARS.
The new virus wasn’t a match for either of those two, but it did belong to the same coronavirus family.
Coronaviruses are a large family of pathogens, and most cause mild respiratory infections – i.e. the common cold.
But because the SARS and MERS proved deadly, the emergence of another new coronavirus has health officials on edge around the world.
Like its two dangerous cousins, the new coronavirus appears to have originated with animals – particularly seafood, chickens, bats, marmots – found at a Wuhan market that’s been identified as the epicenter of the outbreak.
The symptoms of SARS, which may be similar to those of the new coronavirus, include:
- a high temperature (fever)
- extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- muscle pain
- loss of appetite
After these symptoms, the infection will begin to affect your lungs and airways (respiratory system), leading to additional symptoms, such as:
- a dry cough
- breathing difficulties
- an increasing lack of oxygen in the blood, which can be fatal in the most severe cases
So far, there isn’t a treatment for the new virus or SARS, though the new virus has been sequenced, allowing for rapid diagnostics.
President Donald Trump addressed the deadly new virus during remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, early Wednesday morning.
He praised the CDC’s rapid response and said the situation is being handled ‘very well’.
‘The CDC has been terrific, very great professionals. We’re in very good shape and I think China is in very good shape also,’ Trump said.
The president added in an interview with CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’ that he was ‘not at all’ concerned about the possibility of a pandemic.
‘It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control,’ he said.
‘We have it totally under control.
‘We do have a plan, and we think it’s going to be handled very well.’
Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first American case on Tuesday.
The unidentified man, a resident of Snahomish County, north of Seattle, is currently hospitalized and in ‘good’ condition but is being closely monitored in isolation.
He traveled from Wuhan, but did not visit any of the markets at the epicenter of the outbreak, according to state health officials.
The man arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport – but not directly from Wuhan – on January 15, the day before screening was in place, and before he developed symptoms.
But he reportedly recognized his own symptoms – which typically include cough, fever and runny nose – after seeing online coverage of the virus.
The patient reached out to doctors on January 16, was tested on the 17th and his diagnosis was confirmed Monday, health officials said.
The patient is currently at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett.
On the heels of the identification of this first US patient, all flights from Wuhan into the US were being rerouted to the three airports set up last week for screening – LAX, San Francisco and JFK – as well as an additional two locations: Chicago O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Vaccine experts at Baylor University are working on modifying a vaccine they designed to prevent SARS to protect against the new, related coronavirus.
But the school’s Dean of Tropical Medicine, which is developing the shot, Dr Peter Hotez, told DailyMail.com that it’s likely years away from deployment.
Chinese officials have urged travelers to stop visiting Wuhan, a city home to 11 million people.
They warned that the virus could spread further, especially as people travel to see relatives to celebrate Lunar New Year this week, and said they are at ‘the most critical stage’ of containment and control.
China’s National Health Commission vice-minister Li Bin said: ‘Basically, do not go to Wuhan. And those in Wuhan please do not leave the city.’
In the same public briefing, he also warned there is a possibility the virus – which has yet to be officially named – will mutate, warning it could mean a further spread of the disease.
Li said: ‘There has already been human-to-human transmission and infection of medical workers. Evidence has shown that the disease has been transmitted through the respiratory tract and there is the possibility of viral mutation.’
Scientists are desperately trying to contain the outbreak, which officials have confirmed has passed between humans. It can cause a fever and lead to pneumonia.
Cases have risen nine-fold in the space of a few days, with just 48 confirmed cases on January 17.
At least 20 healthcare workers have since been infected, including one doctor investigating the outbreak. Australia and the Philippines are investigating suspected cases of the coronavirus.
Leading scientists have accused China of under-reporting cases, saying it has a ‘track record’ of doing so and warning the ‘true picture may be completely different’.
A passenger is seen during a screening at an airport in Beijing on Wednesday
Checkpoints were also set up at San Francisco International Airport, where passengers are seen on Tuesday
Screenings will also take place at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest hub in the world (above in a file photo)
CDC officials said additional checkpoints would be set up at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (above in a file photo) later this week
Screenings have also been implemented at New York’s John F Kennedy airport (file photo)
A Thai nurse works next to a campaign poster alerting patients of the coronavirus at a hospital in Bangkok. Four cases have been confirmed in Thailand
Staff move bio-waste containers past the entrance of the Wuhan Medical Treatment Center, where some infected with a new virus are being treated
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THIS OUTBREAK SO FAR?
A total of 526 people are confirmed to have caught the unnamed coronavirus, which has never been seen before. Seventeen patients have died.
Most of the cases have occurred in Wuhan, a city in Hubei province home to 11 million people. But patients have been diagnosed across China, including in Beijing and Shanghai.
The coronavirus, which is from the same family as SARS, has also spread to South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and the United States.
The outbreak is believed to have started late last month among people connected to a seafood market in Wuhan, which has since been shut.
China is entering its busiest travel period due to the Lunar New Year, which sees many people travelling back to their home town or village.
Virologists fear the increased travel that will happen over the holidays will cause a surge in cases.
So where have cases been recorded?
Hubei province, 375 cases, 9 deaths
Guangdong province, 26 cases
Chongqing province, 5 cases
Zhejiang province, 5 cases
Hainan province, 4 cases
Jiangxi, 2 cases
Henan province, 1 case
Hunan province, 1 case
Yunnan province, 1 case
Sichuan province, 2 cases
Shandong province, 1 case
Fujian province, 1 case
Shanghai, 9 cases
Beijing, 10 cases
Tianjin, 2 cases
Macau, 1 case
Hong Kong, 1 case
Thailand, 4 cases
South Korea, 1 case
Japan, 1 case
Taiwan, 1 case
US, 1 case
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is expected to declare the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in a meeting held in Geneva today.
If the UN body declares it an emergency, it will be just the sixth time in history that it has happened.
The only other outbreaks to have been granted such a status include the 2009 Swine flu epidemic, the resurgence of Polio in 2014, the worldwide spread of Zika in 2016 and the two most recent Ebola outbreaks in 2014 and last year.
Infectious disease scientists across Asia are concerned China could be covering up the true amount of cases of the coronavirus.
Piotr Chlebicki, at Mount Alvernia Hospital in Singapore, told South China Morning Post it was ‘hard to believe [the official number of] cases’.
He added: ‘China has a track record of under-reporting cases, so the true picture may be completely different.’
The newspaper reported experts are concerned about the number of bureaucratic steps – put in place after the 2003 SARS outbreak – before a case can be confirmed.
The virus has caused alarm because it is from the same family of viruses as SARS, which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen today urged China to release all information about the outbreak of a new virus and work with Taiwan on curbing its spread.
At China’s insistence, Taiwan is not a member of the World Health Organization and is not allowed to participate in any of its meetings. However, large numbers of Taiwanese travel to and live in China.
Tsai said: ‘I especially want to urge China, being a member of international society, that it should fulfill its responsibilities to make the situation of the outbreak transparent, and to share accurate information on the outbreak with Taiwan.’
One case of the coronavirus has been confirmed in Taiwan, which is home to 23 million people.
Sharing information is also important for the health of the Chinese population and Beijing ‘should not put political concerns above the protection of its own people,’ Tsai said.
China regards Taiwan as its own territory and says it is not entitled to representation in most international bodies.
Thai officials today confirmed a fourth case, a 73-year-old woman who developed a fever after returning from Wuhan.
She was being monitored in an isolated ward in a hospital in Nakhon Pathom, 37 miles (60km) west of Bangkok.
In a message to the country, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said: ‘We can control the situation.
Officials at Taiwan’s Center for Disease Control use thermal scanners to screen passengers arriving on a flight from China’s Wuhan province
South Korean cleaners prepare to disinfect the facilities at the customs, immigration and quarantine area at Incheon International Airport
‘There have not been cases of human-to-human transmission in Thailand because we detected the patients as soon as they arrived.’
Saying there are no reports of the infection spreading to others, he added: ‘We checked all of them: taxi drivers, people who wheeled the wheelchairs for the patients, doctors and nurses who worked around them.’
Two other Chinese patients in Thailand have recovered and been sent home, while a third will return once tests show he is clear of the virus. One of the four patients was a Thai national.
Thai officials have stepped up screening at airports to look for passengers with high body temperatures, coughs, headaches and trouble breathing.
The Chinese-ruled gambling hub of Macau today confirmed its first case of the coronavirus – A 52-year-old Wuhan businesswoman.
She took a high-speed train to the Chinese city of Zhuhai on January 19, then a shuttle bus to Macau. She had dinner with two friends, then went to the hotel and spent a long time in casinos.
She was in a stable condition in an isolation ward. Her two friends were also being monitored and were in isolation.
Officials quickly moved to tighten temperature screening measures in casinos and around the city. A total of 405 guest entrances and 47 staff entrances have been provided with portable screening devices and all casino staff have to wear surgical masks.
A child wears a facemask at Daxing international airport in Beijing as he heads home for the Lunar New Year
The outbreak is believed to have started late last month among people connected to a seafood market in Wuhan, where all six fatalities have happened
DOCTOR INVESTIGATING OUTBREAK ADMITS HE HAS CAUGHT THE VIRUS
A leading Chinese doctor investigating the killer coronavirus yesterday admitted he has caught the SARS-like infection.
Wang Guangfa, who heads the department of pulmonary medicine at Beijing’s Peking University First Hospital, was part of a team of experts that earlier this month visited Wuhan, where the virus first emerged.
‘I was diagnosed and my condition is fine,’ Dr Wang told Kong’s Cable TV. He said he is receiving treatment and will have an ‘injection’ soon.
Dr Guangfa is one of the national experts that previously said the pneumonia-causing virus, which has never been seen before, was under control.
Wang Guangfa has been infected with the new virus in China after being part of a team of doctors investigating it in Wuhan, where the virus emerged
All performers and staff at the events hosted across Macau will be screened.
Entry points into Macau will also have temperature checks and visitors will be asked to fill in a health declaration form.
The tourist-magnet casino industry in Macau, which returned to Chinese rule in 1999, accounts for more than 80 per cent of the revenue in the city of 600,000 people.
Macau is a popular Lunar New Year destination for mainland Chinese.
Despite the outbreak, the Australian women’s soccer team is still preparing for a trip to Wuhan early next month for the Olympic qualifiers.
Australia has issued a travel warning for Wuhan, asking visitors to ‘exercise a high degree of caution’.
Head coach Ante Milicic said he had ‘full confidence’ in the advice given to them from authorities including national governing body Football Federation Australia and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
‘As a coach we will always put the wellbeing of our players and staff first,’ he said at a training camp in Sydney late on Tuesday.
‘I know we have got experts involved and they are monitoring the situation and they are in close contact not only with the people in China but the AFC and FIFA.’
Australia are scheduled to play matches in Wuhan against Taiwan on February 3, Thailand three days later and China on February 9.
Taiwan, where one case of the coronavirus has been detected, has called on people not to visit Wuhan unless they absolutely have to.
North Korea, which keeps public health data closely guarded as a state secret, has not reported any cases but has restricted the movement of tourists amid fears the disease could spread there.
On Tuesday, it was announced that:
- North Korea has temporarily banned all tourists from entering the country over fears the Chinese coronavirus will spread
- South Korean budget airline T’way Air has postponed the launch of its cheap flights to Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the outbreak
- A leading expert has said the coronavirus may have been lurking in animals for decades before adapting to infect humans
- A renowned Chinese doctor investigating the outbreak has caught the killer SARS-like infection himself
- Countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Malaysia have upped their screening methods to detect travelers with a fever in airports
- Residents in various Chinese cities are queuing to buy face masks as vendors sell the medical products for 10 times more than normal
- Public health officials in the UK have instructed NHS hospitals on how to deal with cases amid fears the virus will spread
- Stock markets in China and Hong Kong dipped amid fears tourists will refrain from travelling, despite people being urged not to panic
- Furious families in China have accused hospitals of not testing patients with tell-tale symptoms.
Quarantine workers spray disinfect at Incheon International Airport in South Korea. South Korea confirmed its first case on January 20 after a 35-year-old woman arriving at Seoul’s Incheon airport tested positive for the virus
An official uses an infrared thermometer on a traveler at a health screening checkpoint at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport. Wuhan is at the center of the outbreak
Chinese quarantine workers wearing protective suits and masks are posted at an entrance to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan
Professor Zhong Nanshan, leader of the National Health Commission’s expert team, revealed the virus is likely to be spread by saliva in a press conference today.
He told the meeting: ‘As of now, it is affirmative that the new strain of coronavirus can be passed between humans.
‘The virus is spread through respiratory system and distance of impact is not long, but it is possible that the virus was passed after being stuck to saliva.’
Professor Zhong said officials must ‘quarantine the patients and stop them from contacting others’. Antibiotics will not tackle the virus because the drugs only work on bacterial infections.
And he added that the outbreak will not spread like SARS, so long as patients are quarantined immediately and their contacts are traced.
TRAVELERS FROM WUHAN TO BE SEPARATED FROM OTHER PASSENGERS AT HEATHROW
Travelers from the area of China at the center of the coronavirus outbreak will be separated from other passengers on arrival at Heathrow Airport as UK health chiefs step up their response.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said Public Health England is putting in place new precautions in relation to travelers to the UK from the region.
‘There have been some announcements this morning about flights that come direct from the affected region to Heathrow with some additional measures there,’ he told Sky News.
‘At the moment Public Health England have moved this from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ but obviously we want to stay ahead of the issue so we are keeping a very close eye on it.
‘Initially this is to ensure that when flights come in directly into Heathrow there is a separate area for people to arrive in.’
A Chinese physician who was investigating the outbreak of a mysterious new virus in central China says he has himself been infected, it was revealed this evening.
Wang Guangfa, who heads the Department of Pulmonary Medicine at Beijing’s Peking University First Hospital, was part of a team of experts that earlier this month visited Wuhan.
‘I was diagnosed and my condition is fine,’ Wang told Kong’s Cable TV on Tuesday, thanking people for their concern. He is receiving treatment in hospital.
A leading expert yesterday told MailOnline the new Chinese coronavirus may have been lurking in animals for decades.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, a renowned specialist in infectious disease epidemics, said the virus isn’t new but has likely adapted to infect humans.
Reports also state face masks are flying off the shelves across China as the country’s citizens prepare themselves for the potential spread of the outbreak, which has already swept the nation.
Pictures and videos circulating on the country’s social media show residents in various cities queuing to stock up on the medical products.
On Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, web users reported to have seen huge lines of customers in and outside pharmacies in hope of buying the sought-after item.
Prices for face masks have surged, according a report from Beijing Evening News.
Some vendors on the country’s e-commerce site have increased the price of the N95 masks – which is made by US company 3M and particularly popular in China – from 99 yuan ($14) a box to nearly 1,000 yuan ($145) a box, the report said.
A topic page titled ‘the main force of buying face masks’ on Weibo has attracted around 570 million clicks as the Chinese netizens discuss the apparent nationwide buying spree.
Professor John Oxford, a virologist at Queen Mary College, yesterday admitted he was ‘quaking in my shoes’ over the potential spread of the virus that could happen over the Chinese New Year.
He told LBC: ‘None of us have faced a new virus faced with so many people in a community travelling around.
‘That’s what’s going to happen in China at the end of the week. Once they are close together in taxis or small rooms, then there may be a problem.’
And Professor Oxford added: ‘The only way to stop it is physical cleaning and social distance – keeping away from people.’
Locals have made more than four million trips by train, road and air since January 10 in the annual travel rush for the most important holiday in the country.
The transport peak season will last until February 18 and see three billion trips made within China, according to official statistics.
People in China have been urged not to panic and to try and enjoy the festive season.
A piece in Chinese newspaper the Global Times said on Sunday: ‘The entire Chinese society should be vigilant but should not be in panic.
‘We should make the upcoming Spring Festival happy and peaceful, and also pay close attention to every link where the pneumonia may increase transmission.’
Families of sicked loved who have died of mystery respiratory diseases in recent weeks believe the true number of cases and deaths is far higher than what China has admitted, The Guardian reported yesterday.
On the microblog Weibo, Wuhan residents have shared stories of family members who had shown symptoms of the virus, but not been tested for it at hospital.
One posted images of her mother’s diagnosis of viral pneumonia and described long queues of patients with similar symptoms late on Monday night, none of whom appeared to have been tested for coronavirus.
‘Could all these people suddenly have viral pneumonia?’ she said.
Australian officials yesterday announced a traveler had been placed in quarantine with symptoms of the virus after returning home from a trip to China.
The man is being kept at his home in Brisbane as he awaits test results for the virus. Earlier tests were inconclusive, Queensland health chiefs said.
The Philippines also announced that it was investigating its first potential case of the coronavirus.
A five-year-old child arrived in the country on January 12 from Wuhan and has since been hospitalized with flu symptoms.
While the child tested positive for a virus, authorities in Manila said they were not sure if it was the same one that has killed six people in China.
THE NEW CORONAVIRUS IN CHINA TIMELINE
December 31 2019: Total of 27 suspected cases
The WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. Around 27 suspected cases were reported in the month of December.
January 1 2020: Total of 27 suspected cases
A seafood market was closed for environmental sanitation and disinfection after being closely linked with the patients.
January 5 2020: Total of 59 suspected cases
Doctors ruled out severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) as being the cause of the virus, as well as bird flu, Middle East respiratory syndrome and adenovirus. Meanwhile, Hong Kong reported suspected cases.
January 9 2020: Total of 59 confirmed cases, one death
A preliminary investigation identified the respiratory disease as a new type of coronavirus, Chinese state media reported.
Officials at Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported the outbreak’s first death on January 9, a 61-year-old man.
January 13 2020: Total of 42 confirmed cases, one death
A Chinese woman in Thailand was the first confirmed case of the mystery virus outside of China. The 61-year-old was quarantined on January 8, but has since returned home in a stable condition after having treatment, the Thai Health Ministry said.
January 14 2020: Total of 42 confirmed cases, one death
The WHO told hospitals around the globe to prepare, in the ‘possible’ event of the infection spreading.
It said there is some ‘limited’ human-to-human transmission of the virus. Two days previously, the UN agency said there was ‘no clear evidence of human to human transmission’.
January 16 2020: Total of 43 cases, two deaths
A man in Tokyo is confirmed to have tested positive for the disease after travelling to the Chinese city of Wuhan.
A second death, a 69-year-old man, was reported by officials at Wuhan Municipal Health Commission. He died in the early hours of January 15 at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan city having first been admitted to hospital on December 31.
January 17 2020: Total of 44 cases, two deaths
Thailand announces it has detected a second case. The 74-year-old woman had been quarantined since her arrival on Monday. She lived in Wuhan.
Scientists at Imperial College London fear up to 4,500 patients in Wuhan may have caught the virus. A report said if cases are this high, substantial human to human transmission can’t be ruled out.
John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK), San Francisco International Airport and Los Angles International Airport (LAX) will start screening passengers arriving from Wuhan, US officials said.
January 18 2020: Total of 48 cases, two deaths
Thailand steps up monitoring at four airports receiving daily flights from Wuhan. Airports in Japan, Malaysia and Singapore are also screening passengers from Wuhan, authorities said.
Four more cases have been identified in a viral pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, bringing the total to 45 in the city alone.
January 19 2020: Total of 65 cases, two deaths
China reported 17 more cases of pneumonia caused by a new coronavirus strain had been found in Wuhan. It takes the city’s total to 62, including two deaths, and the global total to 65.
All of the cases to this point involved people either living in Wuhan or who have travelled to the city.
Public Health England and Britain’s chief medical officer said they would not be introducing screenings at UK airports at this point.
January 20 2020: Total of 222 cases, three deaths.
China reported a sharp rise in the number of people infected with a new coronavirus over the weekend, including 136 more cases in Wuhan city, taking its total to 198.
The outbreak spread across China; five cases in Beijing, 14 in Guangdong, and one in Shanghai.
South Korea confirmed its first case – a 35-year-old woman arriving at Seoul’s Incheon airport tested positive for the virus. She had been in Wuhan the week prior. This took the total cases outside China to four.
Details were not revealed about the third death.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said saving lives was a top priority, adding that information about the disease was being released in a ‘timely manner’.
China’s National Health Commission team confirmd the virus can spread between humans.
Two patients in southern China also caught the virus from infected family members, according to local media.
The WHO announced it would hold an emergency meeting to debate whether the outbreak should be declared an international public health emergency.
January 21 2020: Total of 308 confirmed cases, six deaths
On this day, the death toll rose to six.
The fourth person had died on January 19, an 89-year-old man who developed symptoms, including severe breathing difficulties, on January 13.
The mayor of Wuhan announced two more victims of the lethal infection – a 66-year-old man, known only as Li, and a 48-year-old woman, known only as Yin. Both died from multiple organ failure.
Authorities also said 15 medical workers in the city were included in the confirmed cases. There is also one other suspected case. Of the infected staff, one was in critical condition.
The first American – a man in his 30s – was confirmed to have the new coronavirus outside Seattle in Washington state.
Washington officials said he was in ‘good’ condition but was in isolation and being closely monitored at Providence Regional Medical Center – Everett, near his home in Snahomish County.
The CDC announced that all passengers arriving to Wuhan from direct or connecting flights would be re-ticketed and rerouted through the three airports with screening already set up and two additional airports, Chicago O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta.
A Brisbane man is being held in isolation over fears he may have contracted the deadly coronavirus while in Wuhan.
Queensland’s chief medical officer Dr Jeannette Young confirmed the man has been tested for the illness when he presented with flu-like symptoms after returning home. The results are still unknown.
Australia began screening passengers arriving from a Chinese city in a bid to stop the spread, Brendan Murphy, the chief medical officer for the Australian government, said.
The Philippines also announced that it was investigating its first potential case of the coronavirus. A five-year-old child arrived in the country on January 12 from Wuhan and has since been hospitalised with flu symptoms.
Taiwan reported its first confirmed case. Health officials announced the woman, thought to be around 50 years old, worked in Wuhan. She is currently in hospital receiving treatment, according to local media.
Stock markets in China and Hong Kong dipped today amid fears tourists will refrain from travelling. But shares in firms which make surgical face masks have surged.