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Coronavirus: Beijing orders 14-day quarantine for returnee

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Africa records first case

Beijing has ordered everyone returning to the city to go into quarantine for 14 days or risk punishment in the latest attempt to contain the deadly new coronavirus, state media report.

Residents were told to “self-quarantine or go to designated venues to quarantine” after returning to the Chinese capital from holidays.

The measure came as Egypt confirmed the first coronavirus case in Africa.

Over 1,500 people have died from the virus, which originated in Wuhan city.

The notice on Friday from Beijing’s virus prevention working group was issued as residents returned from spending the Lunar New Year in other parts of China.

The holiday was extended this year to help contain the outbreak.

More than 20 million people live in Beijing.

China’s national health commission on Saturday reported 143 new deaths, bringing the toll to 1,523. All but four of the latest victims were in hard-hit Hubei province.

A further 2,641 people have been newly confirmed as infected, bringing the national total to 66,492.

Outside mainland China, there have been more than 500 cases in 24 countries, and three deaths: one each in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan.

Africa sees its first case

Egypt’s health ministry on Friday confirmed the first case of the coronavirus in Africa.

The ministry described the person as a foreigner, but did not disclose the nationality.

It said it had notified the WHO, and the patient had been placed in isolation in a hospital.

Experts had earlier warned that it may not be long before the first case was confirmed in Africa, given its increasingly close ties to China.


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