12:50 pm: Coronavirus hospitals in Wuhan to start admitting patients on Feb. 3 and 6
A week-long rapid construction of two hospitals in Wuhan will be complete by next week and will start taking in coronavirus patients, state media CGTN said on Saturday, citing the mayor of Wuhan.
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One 1000-bed hospital will admit patients from Feb. 3, while another 1,500-bed hospital will take in patients from Feb. 6.
Wuhan — the epicenter of the outbreak — started rapid construction on those hospitals from just a week ago, a process that was watched by millions of viewers via live-streaming.
Meanwhile, local railway security has been told to step up epidemic control measures to stem the spread of coronavirus during the holiday season travel rush, according to state media People’s Daily.
11:50 am: The latest on airlines suspending China flights
These are the airlines which have suspended all flights to China amid the outbreak: American Airlines (until March 27), Delta Airlines (Feb 6. to April 30), Air France (until Feb. 9), British Airways, Air Seoul, Egyptair, Lion Air, Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines and Austrian Airlines (until end February), Kenya Airways, RwandAir (till further notice), Vietjet (effective Feb. 1), all Russian airlines (except Aeroflot).
Airlines which suspended some flights, or reduced capacity:
– Qantas: suspending flights from Sydney to Beijing and Sydney to Shanghai (Feb. 9 to March 29).
– United Airlines: suspending flights from its hubs to Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu from Feb. 6 to March 28.
– Air New Zealand: reduced flights between Auckland and Shanghai to four return services a week from Feb. 18 to March 31, from the daily frequency.
– Singapore Airlines: reduced capacity on flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Xiamen and Chongqing.
– Cathay Pacific: progressively reducing capacity to and from mainland China by 50% or more, from Jan. 30 till end March.
– Finnair: suspended flights to Nanjing and Beijing until end March.
– Turkish Airlines: reducing frequency of flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Xian from Feb. 5 to Feb. 29.
11:30 am: Some Chinese cities resume mask production
Mask manufacturers in some Chinese cities resumed the production of masks, even as many provinces have delayed the start of work. 17 companies in Shanghai and 30 others in Jiangxi have started work manufacturing masks, according to state media People’s Daily and CGTN on Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, overseas Chinese have donated over one million masks, according to People’s Daily citing a Fujian official.
11:15 am: Beijing hits back at US travel restrictions
The Chinese government said the U.S. latest measures to impose travel restrictions goes against a World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation to avoid travel bans. It called the U.S. move “not a gesture of goodwill.”
“Certain US officials’ words and actions are neither factual nor appropriate. Just as the WHO recommended against travel restrictions, the US rushed to go in the opposite way,” said China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying. “Certainly not a gesture of goodwill.”
10:45 am: More Chinese provinces announce delay to start of work
More provinces or municipalities in China announced a delay to the start of work or school.
Beijing announced that companies in the city will have to find ways to work remotely till Feb. 10 to stem the coronavirus outbreak — except essential industries, according to state media Beijing Daily.
Tianjin announced Saturday morningthat businesses and schools are not to reopen until further notice, while Hunan said work must resume no earlier than midnight on Feb. 9,