China has reportedly said that the number of coronavirus cases has jumped to nearly 300 as the contagious disease has affected an estimated 2,000 people in the country. According to China's National Health Commission, President Xi Jinping urged resolute efforts on Monday to contain the spread of pneumonia cases caused by a new strain of coronavirus. Reportedly, more Chinese cities have stepped up monitoring, prevention and control of infectious pulmonary diseases after it came into light in 2019. Officials in China have recently confirmed that the virus is contagious and has been passed from person-to-person. It is thought to be spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
According to international media reports, the virus has spread to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Tokyo, South Korea, Beijing, Shanghai, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Singapore. While the disease is mainly concentrated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, there have been two cases in Thailand and one in Japan. Media reports suggest that Hong Kong and Singapore have been screening passengers at the airport, mainly those coming from Wuhan. The United Kingdom had already been screening people coming from China and the United States authorities have also announced similar measures starting on Friday at three major airports in San Fransisco, New York, and Los Angeles.
President Xi Jinping on Monday called for an all-out effort that must be made in the prevention and control of the virus. "Given massive population flows during the upcoming holiday of Chinese New Year, which falls on Jan 25, it is an urgent task to properly prevent and control the disease," the Chinese National Health Commission quoted Xi as saying. Every means should be tried to save and treat the infected, identify the cause of the contagion, strengthen case monitoring and standardise diagnostic procedures, Xi added. President Xi also urged concerned departments to guide public opinion and make relevant policies accessible to the public to ensure people across the country enjoy a peaceful and happy festival.