China death toll reaches 259; WHO warns countries to prepare

Travelers wear face masks as they stand in the arrivals area at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. China closed off a city of more than 11 million people Thursday, halting transportation and warning against public gatherings, to try to stop the spread of a deadly new virus that has sickened hundreds and spread to other cities and countries in the Lunar New Year travel rush. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

BEIJING (AP) — A World Health Organization official says countries around the world need to prepare for “domestic outbreak control” if a new virus that has killed 259 people in China spreads.

Meanwhile, Beijing is criticizing Washington’s order barring entry to most foreigners who visited China in the past two weeks. Australia announced similar measures. South Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Turkey all evacuated some of their citizens from China on Saturday.

The number of confirmed cases in China rose to 11,791, surpassing the number in the 2002-03 outbreak of SARS. Germany, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Vietnam and Australia all reported new cases.

Categories: Coronavirus, National News