A government worker sprays disinfectant on a residential building in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. Hong Kong's leader announced Tuesday that all rail links to mainland China will be cut starting Friday as fears grow about the spread of a new virus. (Chinatopix via AP)

The Latest: France reports 4th case of new virus from China

January 28, 2020 - 11:54 am

BEIJING (AP) — The Latest on the outbreak of a new virus from China that has sickened thousands of people and killed more than 100 (all times local):

1:50 a.m.

France has confirmed a fourth case of a new virus spreading in China, an elderly Chinese tourist who is in intensive care in a Paris hospital.

Jerome Saloman directs France's public health agency and says Tuesday that the tourist is suffering from a severe case of the virus and needs constant care.

Saloman says the patient is in his 80s and is from China’s Hubei region, where the virus has been spreading rapidly,

French authorities are looking for people the tourist was in contact with since arriving in France. Saloman says authorities are also stepping up surveillance of people who have arrived recently from the region around the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Three other people were already hospitalized in France with the virus, the first cases reported in Europe. The virus has sicked thousands mostly in China and more than 100 people have died.

France is also planning to repatriate hundreds of its citizens from the Wuhan region.


1:20 a.m.

The European Union is dispatching two flights to evacuate at least 350 healthy European citizens from the Chinese city of Wuhan as a deadly new flu spreads in the region.

The 28-nation union activated a disaster-response mechanism to organize the flights at the request of France, which has a large number of citizens in the Wuhan region.

The initial flights will only carry healthy EU citizens or those without symptoms of the virus, the European Commission said in a statement Tuesday. It said the EU is ready to mobilize further flights in the coming days.

The first flight will carry about 250 French citizens. More than 100 other EU citizens will travel on the second flight. The EU will co-finance the flights.

France’s government had already announced that it would organize return flights for both healthy citizens and those with virus symptoms, and that it would hold them in quarantine for 14 days after their arrival in France.


12 a.m.

The United States and several other nations are preparing to airlift citizens out of a Chinese city at the center of a virus outbreak that has killed more than 100 people.

Hong Kong's leader says it will cut all rail links to mainland China and halve the number of flights, as authorities in China and overseas sought to stem the spread of the new virus. The number of confirmed cases has risen to more than 4,500.

The U.S. government chartered a plane to fly out diplomats from the U.S. Consulate in Wuhan, where the outbreak started, and other Americans.

China has cut off access to Wuhan and 16 other cities to prevent people from leaving and spreading the virus further.

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