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Coronavirus: Flight taking Britons out of Wuhan is delayed

People arrive at Heathrow Airport wearing face masksImage copyrightEPA

A flight to bring about 200 British nationals back to the UK from coronavirus-hit Wuhan is unable to take off as planned on Thursday.

It is understood relevant permissions from Chinese officials have not yet come through.

Downing Street said it was "working with Chinese authorities so the flight can take off as soon as possible".

The virus has caused at least 170 deaths, spreading to every Chinese region and at least 15 other countries.

The flight from Wuhan, the city where the virus first emerged, had been expected to arrive on Thursday morning.

BBC health editor Hugh Pym said when the passengers do return, they are due to land at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and be transported to former NHS staff accommodation in the north west of England.

They will be put in "supported isolation" for 14 days with "all necessary medical attention", a Downing Street spokesman said.

A small team of military medics is flying out to Wuhan to accompany passengers on the repatriation flight, the Ministry of Defence said.

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Diversity is our strength....let’s see...Jews or Muslims...time to choose Justin...but he won’t...he’ll say he takes the situation very seriously, they are watching it closely, and call for important

You haven't noticed this?  It came in the same Liberal box labeled law abiding, daily vetted gun owners being compared to a pyromaniac serial killer, wife abusing,  police impersonator with illeg

If diversity is our strength, how do you rationalize Islamic extremism??? It’s a diverse point of view...but one should not hide behind the proclamation “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian”...why

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The cruise ship thing is no more - the passenger tested negative, so forget that.

The mortality rate of the virus in China appears to be dropping to the level of the flu. Under 2% now.

I think this is being contained - of course, a mutation can spur it to new heights.

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Spreading faster than the Australian wildfires....

“ More than 8,100 people infected with coronavirus, surpassing SARS numbers”

BEIJING/GENEVA — The United States reported its first case of person-to-person transmission of a fast-spreading new coronavirus on Thursday, as a World Health Organization (WHO) panel met to reconsider whether the outbreak that has killed 170 people in China should be declared a global emergency.

The vast majority of the more than 8,100 cases detected globally, according to the latest official data, have been in China, where the virus originated in an illegal wildlife market in the city of Wuhan.

But more than 100 cases have emerged in other countries, from Japan to the United States, spurring cuts to travel, outbreaks of anti-China sentiment in some places and a surge in demand for protective face masks.

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New coronavirus an international public health emergency, WHO declares


The World Health Organization has declared an outbreak of a new coronavirus from Wuhan, China, to be a public health emergency of international concern.

WHO officials made the announcement Thursday following an emergency committee meeting of health experts on the virus.

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This might allay some fears.


What the BC CDC says you’re getting wrong about the novel coronavirus

Posted January 30, 2020 3:58 pm

As the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus rises outside of China, the BC Centre for Disease Control has taken to social media to fight what it says are misconceptions about how the illness is transmitted.

On Thursday, the World Health Organization declared the virus an international public health emergency.

So far, there are more than 8,200 confirmed cases of the virus, mostly in China, including more than 170 deaths, all of which have been recorded inside the Asian country.

A map of novel coronavirus cases in Asia, as of Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. A map of novel coronavirus cases in Asia, as of Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. BC CDC

But health officials in B.C., where just one case has been confirmed, are concerned that fear of the virus is spreading faster than the illness itself.

There are several misconceptions on social media currently around how #coronavirus is transmitted,” the BC CDC wrote on Twitter as part of an 11-tweet thread on Thursday.

“Please allow us to clear it up.”


1/11 There are several misconceptions on social media currently around how #coronavirus is transmitted. Please allow us to clear it up. #2019nCoV



The first issue the CDC wants to make clear is that contracting the novel coronavirus through casual contact is unlikely.

Receptors for #coronavirus are deep in a person’s lungs – a person must inhale enough of the virus that it can actually bind to those receptors deep in the lungs,” wrote the CDC.

The virus is not airborne, the agency says, but rather is transmitted through droplets, such as in a sneeze, that fall quickly out of the air.

Even if a person touches those droplets after they land on a surface, the BC CDC says the risk of transmission is low. The agency says there would have to be enough infected fluid to somehow make it into a person’s lungs.

“A person must be in close contact (within 2 metres) with somebody to be able to inhale those droplets if a person coughs or sneezes without cover, in front of them,” says the agency. 

If a person has touched something that has droplets on it with #coronavirus in it, as long as they clean their hands before touching their face or your mouth, they are not at risk of getting that virus in their body.”

 · 3h

3/11 #Coronavirus is transmitted via larger droplets that fall quickly out of the air (for example, after a sneeze). This virus is not airborne. #2019nCoV


4/11 #Coronavirus is not something that people can get from casual contact. A person must be in close contact (within 2 metres) with somebody to be able to inhale those droplets if a person coughs or sneezes without cover, in front of them. #2019nCoV


The BC CDC is also reminding people it is not possible to contract the virus through skin-to-skin contact.

The agency does recommend the use of masks — but only for people who are already sick.

 Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau calls for Canadians to come together in response to ‘unreasonable fears’ on internet

It said masks work by capturing potentially infected droplets coughed or sneezed out by a person who is ill.

“It may be less effective to wear a mask in the community when a person is not sick themselves,” wrote the CDC.

“Masks may give a person a false sense of security & are likely to increase the number of times a person will touch their own face – to adjust the mask, etc.”

 · 3h

8/11 Regarding wearing masks – masks should be used by sick people to prevent transmission to other people. A mask will help keep a person’s droplets in. #2019nCoV #coronavirus


9/11 It may be less effective to wear a mask in the community when a person is not sick themselves. Masks may give a person a false sense of security & are likely to increase the number of times a person will touch their own face – to adjust the mask, etc. #2019nCoV #coronavirus


The agency says the most important thing someone can do to protect themselves from the virus is to wash their hands frequently and avoid touching their face.

It says people who are ill should always cover their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and to keep away from others.

If you suspect you may have contracted the virus, you’re advised to phone your health-care provider before coming in so that it can safely prepare.

Symptoms of the new coronavirus include fever, coughing, trouble breathing and pneumonia in both lungs.

You can find out more about the novel coronavirus, including up-to-date reporting on numbers of cases, here.


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On 1/30/2020 at 10:41 AM, Don Hudson said:

I'll bet, Rich! Nobody wants another SARS...

Just got in from a PEK-SHA-PEK flight. I’ve been working here nearly 10 years and today was the first time I pushed back early for both flights. Wheels didn’t stop rolling from pushback to takeoff and again from landing to the gate. Takeoff weights were only around 160,000kg and climbs were unrestricted, so the performance was fun. Should’ve used TOGA thrust just for the fun of it, but my F/Os wouldn’t be able to keep up. Looking down on the roads I could see them mostly empty in both cities. The intersection outside my hotel room is usually backed up with traffic, but today there’s only a few cars in each direction. Feels like I’m caught up in a Stephen King novel. ?

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US bans travellers from China as coronavirus toll spikes

Beijing criticises US move temporarily barring entry to most foreigners who had been in China in the past two weeks.



Countries around the world have closed their borders to arrivals from China, as officials work to control the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

The US and Australia said they would deny entry to all foreign visitors who had recently been in China, where the virus first emerged in December.

Earlier, countries including Russia, Japan, Pakistan and Italy announced similar travel restrictions.



The United States has declared a public health emergency and temporarily banned the entry of foreign nationals who travelled to China recently, joining a growing list of nations to impose travel restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 250 people and infected thousands. 

US President Donald Trump signed an order on Friday barring entry to foreign nationals, other than immediate family members of American citizens and permanent residents, who travelled in China in the last 14 days, which scientists say is the longest incubation period for the virus.


Americans returning from China will be allowed into the country, but will face screening at select ports of entry and required to undertake 14 days of self-screening. Those returning from Hubei will be subject to a 14-day quarantine.

China's government criticised the measure, which it said contradicted the World Health Organization's appeal to avoid travel bans, and slammed "unfriendly comments" made by the US that Beijing was failing to cooperate.

"Just as the WHO recommended against travel restrictions, the US rushed to go in the opposite way. Certainly not a gesture of goodwill," said foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

There have been seven confirmed US cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, which originated in December in a live seafood market in Wuhan in China's Hubei province.

With the United Kingdom, Russia and Sweden among the countries confirming their first infections, the virus has now spread to more than two dozen nations, sending governments scurrying to limit their exposure.

The US move follows similar steps by countries, including Italy, Singapore, and China's northern neighbour, Mongolia.

The US, Japan, the UK, Germany and some other affected nations have already advised their citizens not to travel to China.

On Saturday, Australia said it would bar non-citizens arriving from China from entering the country under new measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said only "Australian citizens, Australian residents, dependents, legal guardians or spouses" would be permitted into the country from China. 

The WHO has already declared the epidemic a global emergency. Death toll in China has risen to 259 while total infections reached nearly 12,000, surpassing the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic 20 years ago.

Three US airlines - American, Delta and United - said they would soon suspend all flights to China.

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Things are obviously much worse than they are saying.

Huoshenshan Hospital, a 25,000-square-kilometre structure, has its foundation already laid and Leishenshan Hospital was about 40 per cent complete as of Jan. 31, according to the Xinhua news agency.

That's a BIG hospital!


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2 hours ago, seeker said:

Things are obviously much worse than they are saying.

Huoshenshan Hospital, a 25,000-square-kilometre structure, has its foundation already laid and Leishenshan Hospital was about 40 per cent complete as of Jan. 31, according to the Xinhua news agency.

That's a BIG hospital!


Ah the benefits of "New Math".  My faith in "real news" has taken another hit.  

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47 minutes ago, seeker said:

I think Kip thought you were saying I misspoke while you were suggesting someone quoted in the article misspoke.

I misread the size.....I thought  the original post said it was 25,000 square meters, not km    so I read the initial post again and i see it is wrong       should be ..... actually METERS not KM.......I thought mo32a was disputing 25000 square meters wherein he thought I was bolstering 25000 square km....Jeeese this is soooo confusing. 


Anyhow here is a birds eye view of the sight....



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Yeah, my joke was about the error in the stated size.  Some other random internet source says you could fit the entire world's population in 750 sq km so a 25,000 sq km hospital is a little oversized - 33 times larger than needed for all of us!


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"It is the union's position that any aircraft without a fully functional water system ought to be immediately removed and not positioned for operations until such a time as the issue can be corrected — regardless of aircraft type," the memo said.

The union also strongly discouraged members from accepting shifts on flights experiencing water issues in exchange for supplemental compensation, such as a bump in pay.

'No running water on Air Canada flight from China during worsening coronavirus outbreak'

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14 minutes ago, Airband said:

From the article;

In an email to CBC News Saturday afternoon, Air Canada said "the aircraft developed an issue with its water system in Beijing and it could not be repaired quickly locally.

"After careful consideration the decision was made to still operate the flight based on our understanding that customers would rather return to Canada than stay longer in Beijing. The flight was operated in compliance with protocols for such situations."

Leave it to the fr1gging CBC.  Damned if you do and damned if you don't.  Just imagine if they had cancelled the flight, then the headline would have been; "Evil Air Canada cancels flight over minor water issue stranding passengers in dangerous situation ."

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Seeker, +1.

Imagine the uproar if the flight had cancelled and ferried out of there to where a fix could have been made.


After careful consideration the decision was made to still operate the flight based on our understanding that customers would rather return to Canada than stay longer in Beijing.

"Corona virus declared global health emergency by WHO"

I guess the CBC does not understand priorities and mechanical realities. ?

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CBC only got wind of it because someone on board the flight complained. Sounds pretty ungrateful to me. 

Ungrateful passengers?? Say it isn’t so!!  Fa’s that worked the evac flight from Lebanon said passengers/evacuees were complaining about lack of meal choice, not sitting together with family and if /when their bags would make the flight.

Makes you go ... HHhhmmmm.

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The numbers just keep growing. New York Times calls it a pandemic as it spreads to 23 countries.

“Following the first confirmed coronavirus death outside China, the country’s defense military on Sunday deployed 1,400 medical personnel to staff a new hospital in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak of the novel virus that’s now killed more than 300 people and sickened more than 14,000 in China alone.”

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I wonder who is operating the aircraft.



Canada charters plane out of China for at least 325 citizens in Wuhan

Published Sunday, February 2, 2020 3:58PM EST 

TORONTO -- Global Affairs Canada has received 325 requests from Canadians who wish to leave the Chinese province at the centre of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The government said on Sunday it had received the requests from citizens asking for departure assistance from Hubei province.

The department noted only those with a Canadian passport will be allowed onboard. Global Affairs said it’s trying to keep families together whenever possible and has raised this with the Chinese government.


Global Affairs also states the chartered plane out of Wuhan will have limited spaces, and that seats would not be guaranteed.

The department said it was exploring all avenues to help Canadians leave Wuhan and that it would be providing updates to those affected.

“We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our ‘Travel Advice’ to enable Canadians to make well-informed decisions regarding their travel abroad,” Global Affairs spokesperson Sylvain Leclerc said, adding the department “was monitoring the situation.”

“It is important to note that individuals should not present themselves to the airport unannounced as they will not be permitted to board the aircraft,” Leclerc said.

The death toll in China climbed to 304 on Sunday, and the number of cases worldwide surged past 14,550, according to China's National Health Commission and other nations.


On Jan. 29, Global Affairs Canada increased its risk level to avoid non-essential travel to China due to the coronavirus outbreak. The next day, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the new virus from China a global health emergency.

Canada has four known cases -- three in Ontario and one in British Columbia.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters the main reason for the declaration is because of how the virus could affect other countries. "Our greatest concern is the potential for this virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems which are ill-prepared to deal with it,” he said.

The spread of the coronavirus has grounded scores of Canadian families in the region who’ve been affected by flight cancellations in and out of the country. But the issue is compounded for families with Chinese relatives.

The Chinese government has told Canada only those who have entered China with a Canadian passport would be allowed to board the chartered plane, so Canadian families -- with relatives who are Chinese nationals -- are being forced to decide whether to leave or stay put.

Leclerc urged Canadian citizens elsewhere in China “that wish to leave should do so while commercial means continue to be available and provided it is safe to do so.” But warned citizens they “must carefully check entry and exit requirements fo


r the countries they may be transiting through.”

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I see from this update all, including crew, will be isolated for 14days.  

Canadians evacuated from China will be sent to CAF base in Trenton, Ont.

Posted February 2, 2020 5:13 pm
Updated February 2, 2020 6:55 pm

The federal government says Canadians who have requested evacuation from the region of China hardest hit by the new coronavirus will undergo a two-week period of observation at the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, Ont., upon arrival.

“We have been working with all levels of government, public health officials and our international partners to ensure the safe return home of Canadians from Hubei Province, including staff and the flight crew,” Health Minister Patty Hajdu said in a statement on Sunday.

“Our plan is focused on ensuring the health and safety of all Canadians.”

It remains unclear when the 325 Canadians who have asked for government assistance will arrive from Hubei.

3:04Canada reports fourth case of novel coronavirus

 Canada reports fourth case of novel coronavirus

The government is chartering a plane but is still finalizing the arrangements and approvals, according to Global Affairs Canada.

Airspace in Wuhan, the city in Hubei where the outbreak is believed to have started, remains closed. Once China green-lights the Canadian government’s request to land, the plane will head for Wuhan from Hanoi, Vietnam.

Government officials and Canadian Armed Forces medics, who are en route to Hanoi, are in the process of obtaining Chinese visas.

In an email obtained by Global News, Global Affairs officials told Canadians waiting to leave China that there would be limited space on the flight. They said officials would try to give 24 hours’ notice before the aircraft is due to depart, however.

“In the event that there are more passengers than available seats, we will continue to explore all avenues to assist Canadians in departing from Wuhan, China,” the message stated.

Those returning to Canada will receive health screenings before boarding, during the flight and upon arrival, Global Affairs said in a statement.

9:56‘All options on the table’ to protect Canadians from those returning from China: Hajdu

 ‘All options on the table’ to protect Canadians from those returning from China: Hajdu

Anyone in need of medical attention will be “safely transferred” to the health-care system.

All others — including flight crew and staff members — will be sent to CFB Trenton for a 14-day period of medical assessment and observation.

The base is located about 175 km east of Toronto.

Canada’s defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance said in a statement that protecting the Canadian Forces and the community of Trenton “is essential.”

“As we support the safe return of Canadians at CFB Trenton, be confident that all measures are in place to safeguard the health and security of everyone,” he said.


“To our CAF Families: As the CAF helps Canadians returning from China, I want you to know that I have full confidence in the protocols & measures in place to safeguard CAF members & Canadians.” JV @CFOperations

View image on Twitter



“To CAF Families in Trenton: Protecting the CAF and your community is essential. As we support the safe return of Canadians at CFB Trenton, be confident that all measures are in place to safeguard the health and security of everyone” JV @CFOperations


Four cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Canada since Jan. 25. Three of those individuals live in Ontario; the other patient is in B.C.

The illness has claimed 361 lives in China as of Sunday, and one person has died in the Philippines.

In efforts to contain the outbreak, China has imposed lockdowns for tens of millions of people.

READ MORE: First coronavirus death outside of China reported in Philippines: health authorities

Starting Sunday, the U.S. is barring entry of foreign nationals who have travelled to China. U.S. citizens who have travelled to Hubei within the last 14 days will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told a media briefing at the White House on Friday.

In Canada, additional screening measures are in place at airports, and officials advised Canadians to avoid Hubei and forego non-essential travel to China.

Canadian officials have repeatedly stressed that the risk of an outbreak in Canada remains low.2:19Canadians still stuck in China amid novel coronavirus outbreak

 Canadians still stuck in China amid novel coronavirus outbreak

They say infection control measures have improved significantly since the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) nearly 20 years ago.

That outbreak, in which 44 Canadians died, prompted xenophobia and anti-Chinese rhetoric.

At a Lunar New Year celebration in Toronto Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadians need to “stay united.”

“Let me be clear, there is no place in our country for discrimination driven by fear or misinformation. This is not something Canadians will ever stand for.”

–With files from Abigail Bimman, Global News and Reuters.

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