Nine-month-old baby among Beijing's new confirmed cases
From CNN’s Steven Jiang in Beijing
Beijing now has 68 confirmed cases of Wuhan coronavirus, including a 9-month-old girl, according to the city's municipal health authority.
The baby is the youngest known case to be confirmed so far.
To date, the virus has infected more than 2,000 people worldwide and killed more than 50 in China.
10:24 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020
Get caught up: here's the latest on the outbreak
There are more than 2,000 confirmed cases of the virus, and 56 deaths, worldwide as concern mounts about the rate of its spread.
Here's a rundown of what has been happening over the past few hours:
Outbreak in China: Some 1,975 cases were confirmed in mainland China, with full or partial lockdowns in 15 Chinese cities as authorities attempt to limit the virus's spread. The death toll rose to 56, with all cases occurring within the country.
Contagious before symptoms: People can spread the virus before symptoms show, China's health minister said Sunday. If he's correct, people who did not know they are ill have been spreading the virus. A veteran adviser for a US health agency called the news a "game changer."
Wild animal ban: The sale of all wild animals has been banned, the Chinese government announced Sunday. The outbreak, which emerged last month, has been linked to Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan. Authorities linked wild animals sold at the market as the likely source of the virus.
More deployments: About 1,600 medical professionals are being sent to Wuhan on Sunday and Monday, amid videos and witness accounts showing packed hospitals and overworked staff. A new, 1,000-bed hospital is also being built on the city's outskirts, to be ready by February 3.
International spread: Confirmed cases have risen beyond China. A man in California is now the third confirmed case in the United States. Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Macao have all reported an increase in infections. The African continent got its first suspected case, but authorities in Cote d'Ivoire believe it might just be a case of pneumonia.
Foreign nationals evacuated: Countries, like the US, Japan and France, are attempting to transport their citizens out of Wuhan.
Anger in Hong Kong: Protests broke out Sunday over government plans to turn an unoccupied apartment building, called Fai Ming Estate, into a quarantine center. Hong Kong authorities have since rolled back on their announcement.
10:17 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020
Wuhan Mayor expects confirmed cases in the city will rise by another 1,000
From CNN’s Steven Jiang in Beijing.
Wuhan’s Mayor Zhou Xianwang estimates 45% of the 2,800 people who are either suspected to be infected or placed under medical observation will turn into confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus.
Wuhan currently has 618 confirmed cases, of whom 533 are still hospitalized, with 53 in critical condition. In Wuhan, there have been 45 deaths.
Zhou added that 2,209 suspected carriers of the virus are in hospital with 643 under medical observation.
Due to the Lunar New Year holiday and the outbreak, 5 million people have left Wuhan with 9 million still remaining in the city, according to Zhou.
9:50 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020
Protests in Hong Kong against government's quarantine center
From CNN’s Anna Kam and Sophie Jeong in Hong Kong.
Protests occurred in the New Territories of Hong Kong after the government announced they will be turning an unoccupied apartment building, called Fai Ming Estate, into a quarantine center.
The scenes in the town of Fanling were described as a "rampage" by police, who said rioters set fire to the lobby of buildings by throwing petrol bombs .
On Sunday evening, the government said preparation work for the quarantine center in Fanling had "ceased."
It added that meetings would take place on Wednesday with district councillors over the issue.
9:15 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020
Taiwan confirms its 4th case of coronavirus
From CNN’s Anna Kam in Hong Kong.
There is a fourth case of the virus in Taiwan, its Centers for Disease Control confirmed on Sunday.
It said the patient is a 50-year-old woman who had traveled to Wuhan between January 13 and 15, and who then traveled to Europe for nine days.
"Later she declared to Taiwanese authorities that she had been to Wuhan and had symptoms of coughing," the agency wrote.
As of Sunday afternoon (local time), the agency said Taiwan had a total of 350 suspected cases, and four confirmed cases.
"147 cases have been ruled out, 41 cases are negative and the remaining are yet to be tested," it wrote.
8:56 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020
Each confirmed patient infects 2 to 3 people, say British scientists
Scientists at Imperial College London have estimated the human-to-human transmission rate of the Wuhan coronavirus, saying that each person has infected two to three people, they said in a report on Saturday.
"We estimate that, on average, each case infected 2.6 (uncertainty range: 1.5-3.5) other people up to 18th January 2020, based on an analysis combining our past estimates of the size of the outbreak in Wuhan with computational modelling of potential epidemic trajectories,” the report wrote.
They estimate that transmission needs to be stopped by 60%. “This implies that control measures need to block well over 60% of transmission to be effective in controlling the outbreak,” it added.
When it comes to outbreaks, scientists and public health experts are concerned with how quickly a disease can spread and its mortality rate.
But there is still a lot more to learn about the virus, and scientists have warned against alarmism.
“It is quite easy to get fixed on a particular number but such predicted numbers will vary considerably at this early stage in an epidemic,” Mike Turner, Director of Science, The Wellcome Trust, said in a statement.
“What is becoming clear from several sources though is that there is substantive human to human transmission and that there may well be a lot of people who become infected but have no symptoms or very mild symptoms so don’t need to seek medical attention,” he added.
“This makes it more difficult to put in place effective control measures. A lot of people are working furiously to try and control this epidemic.”
On Sunday, Chinese officials said people can spread the virus before they have symptoms.
8:20 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020
UK government warns against all travel to Hubei province
From CNN’s Rob Iddiols in London
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised “against all travel to Hubei province” China in an update on their website Sunday, due to the ongoing outbreak.
Published on the Foreign Travel Advice section of their website, the update continued: “If you are in this area and able to leave, you should do so."
“On 23 January the Wuhan authorities closed all transport hubs including airports, railway and bus stations. Travel restrictions are in place in other cities in Hubei Province. You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the local authorities.”
8:19 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020
India seeking "possible travel options" to remove citizens from Hubei province
The Indian government is in touch with its citizens currently in Wuhan and are seeking "possible travel options out of Hubei province," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Twitter Sunday.
This comes after it came to light that 56 Indian students, studying at the Wuhan University School Of Medicine, had been trapped in the Chinese city for three days. Many of the students were afraid to leave their dorm room and fearful of dwindling food supples.
Normally a transport hub for central China, Wuhan has been closed off from the rest of the country since Thursday -- when the city was placed on lockdown.
Kumar said on Sunday that the Indian Embassy in Beijing was "in close touch with Indian citizens including students to extend assistance," adding "that no Indian citizens have been affected by the outbreak & that food & water supplies are available to them."
10:22 a.m. ET, January 26, 2020
China says virus can spread before symptoms show -- calling into question US strategy to contain virus
From CNN Health's Elizabeth Cohen
China’s health minister Ma Xiaowei had some very bad news Sunday about the Wuhan coronavirus: He said people can spread it before they have symptoms.
A veteran adviser for a US health agency called the news a "game changer."
“When I heard this, I thought, ‘oh dear, this is worse than we anticipated.’ It means the infection is much more contagious than we originally thought,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a longtime adviser to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Schaffner added that this new piece of information called into question the current US practices for containing the virus so it doesn’t spread beyond the three cases that have already appeared in Washington state, California, and Illinois.
Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center said that if Ma is correct, “we’re going to have to re-evaluate our strategy, that’s for sure."
And if so – and information about this virus is constantly evolving -- for about two weeks, people who don’t even know they’re sick can spread the virus, which has killed more than 50 people in China and infected thousands.
The disease has spread as far as France, Canada, and the US, which now has three cases in California, Washington state, and Illinois.
In a press briefing Friday, Dr. Jennifer Layden, an epidemiologist with the Illinois Department of Health, said the woman with the Wuhan coronavirus in her state had not been sick while traveling from Wuhan to the US on January 13, and “based on what we know now about this virus our concern for transmission before symptoms develop is low so that is reassuring.”
She explained that officials were following “close contacts” of the patient. She did not mention following other kinds of contacts, such as the other passengers on the woman’s January 13 flight.
This post has been updated to clarify Ma Xiaowei's honorific.