China battles coronavirus outbreak

China has stepped up its response to a new coronavirus outbreak that has killed 26 people and infected at least 830, placing restrictions on 10 cities Hubei province – the centre of the outbreak.

More than 40 million people are living in the cities affected, some of which have suspended public transport amid fears that the transmission rate will accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel for the Lunar New Year.

Health authorities around the world are taking action to prevent a global pandemic, with cases reported in Japan, Thailand, South Korea and the United States.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged that the respiratory illness, which has been traced to the city of Wuhan, is an emergency in China but said it is too early to declare a global health emergency.

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