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Morning Brief: WHO Chief Arrives in China Amid Growing Virus Fears WHO Chief Arrives in China Amid Growi...
Here is today’s Foreign Policy brief: The head of the World Health Organization arrives in China as fears over the Wuhan virus rise, Israeli leaders head to the White House to discuss Trump’s Middle East peace plan, and what to watch in the world this week.
Chinese official figures on the Wuhan virus keep rising: On Monday, 2,744 cases had been confirmed and the death toll had risen to 80—with all but four in Hubei province. Major cities there including Wuhan remain on lockdown, though some experts have called the effectiveness of the quarantines into question—particularly if the virus is carried by people without symptoms. There is still limited information about how easily it spreads, and it is difficult to recognize, as Annie Sparrow reports for FP.
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is in Beijing, where he is expected to meet Chinese officials and medical experts about the response to the outbreak. The WHO has not yet declared the Wuhan virus a global emergency. “The epidemic is now entering a more serious and complex period,” said Ma Xiaowei, the director of China’s National Health Commission. “It looks like it will continue for some time, and the number of cases may increase.”
Hong Kong takes action. There are six confirmed and 77 suspected cases of the Wuhan virus in Hong Kong, which has so far refused to block travel from mainland China in general. On Sunday, authorities did ban residents of Hubei province from entering the city. Hundreds of citizens protested the city’s plans to convert an empty apartment building into a temporary quarantine zone, blocking roads and throwing Molotov cocktails.
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