Roundup: Measures tightened against novel coronavirus while Int'l community expresses support for China

A member of the medical team of the Second Military Medical University puts on protective clothing at Hankou Hospital in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 27, 2020. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)

"We are working 24/7 to support China and its people during this difficult time," the World Health Organization's (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted.

BEIJING, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Multiple countries and international organizations have expressed support for China in its fight against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) while measures are stepped up to prevent the spread of the virus.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday said the UN appreciates China's effort to battle against the novel coronavirus and has full confidence in China's ability of controlling the outbreak.

The World Health Organization's (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has tweeted, before heading for Beijing, that "We are working 24/7 to support China and its people during this difficult time," adding that his team would strengthen the partnership with China in providing further protection against the spread of the virus.

Pakistani President Arif Alvi on Monday said that the Pakistani people "stand with their Chinese brothers in this difficult hour."

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry on Sunday expressed wishes that China would curb the spread of the virus, saying that Palestine will always stand by China and its people.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said in Washington on Monday that the U.S. people "stand with" the Chinese people.

Jiang Lei (R), a doctor from the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, holds his fiancee Gao Jia's hand at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport in southwest China's Chongqing, Jan. 26, 2020. A team comprised of more than 130 medical workers from Chongqing left for Xiaogan City of Hubei Province to aid the novel coronavirus control efforts. (Xinhua/Wang Quanchao)

The new virus broke out first in China's central city of Wuhan and then quickly spread across the country.

The Chinese health authorities announced Tuesday that 4,515 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus had been reported in 30 provincial-level regions by the end of Monday.

Meanwhile, many countries, including India, Bangladesh and Lithuania, have set up a 24x7 helpline to respond to public queries on the novel coronavirus.

Sri Lanka's Health Ministry has appointed a special 22-member national action committee to prevent the spread of 2019-nCoV, saying that the new committee will hold an urgent meeting to discuss how to keep Sri Lanka safe from the virus.

Bulgaria has established "an operational working group" to address issues related to the novel coronavirus, the country's Chief State Health Inspector Angel Kunchev said at a press conference on Monday.

Passengers undergo thermal scanning upon arrival at Singapore Changi Airport in Singapore, Jan 22, 2020. (Photo by Then Chih Wey/Xinhua)

Screening measures have been stepped up at international airports in multiple countries.

The Baghdad International Airport on Sunday began screening travelers arriving from infected areas, while in Saudi Arabia, authorities have strengthened monitoring and control efforts at border entries, although the kingdom has not reported any case of infection.

Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech said that Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague will continue to operate as normal but preventative measures will be put in place.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Facebook that the country is "monitoring the situation systematically and continuously and we are in close connection with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and with experts from the World Health Organisation."

Germany confirmed the first case of the novel coronavirus infection Monday night, according to the health authorities of Bavaria.

New cases have been confirmed in several other countries, including the United States, Canada, South Korea, and Australia.

The WHO has already activated global networks of experts, quickly developed advice for countries everywhere, and is working with them to activate their response systems, the WHO chief said. 

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