Chinese health official says virus cases in Beijing, risk of infection rising, Russia and China working to develop coronavirus vaccine

The mother of a student has her temperature checked as part of preventive measures against the coronavirus, at a Chinese-Filipino school in Quezon City, Philippines, 29 January 2020. On 29 January, Philippine health officials said the country still has no confirmed cases of the virus. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

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The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Beijing and the risk of infection there are on the rise, a health official in the capital city said on Wednesday, as the outbreak takes hold outside the epicenter in central city of Wuhan.

Pang Xinghuo, vice director of Beijing city’s Center for Disease Control and Preventon, made the comments during a press briefing. Beijing has confirmed 1 death and 102 confirmed cases of the virus so far.

Meanwhile, Russia and China are working to develop a coronavirus vaccine and Beijing has handed over the genome of the virus to Moscow, a Russian diplomatic mission in China said on Wednesday.

The death toll in China from coronavirus rose to 132 on Wednesday with the number of confirmed cases now at nearly 6,000.

It was not clear if Russian and Chinese scientists were working together or separately. The consulate in Guangzhou could not be reached for comment.

Russia, which has not had any confirmed cases of the virus, on Tuesday began screening all Russian tourists returning from China, the national consumer health watchdog said on Wednesday.

Russia has been in talks with China about evacuating its nationals from Wuhan and Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, the consulate said.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin ordered Russia’s consumer safety watchdog to draw up and present a plan to the government later on Wednesday on ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Russian authorities have closed some land border crossings to China in the Russian Far East until Feb. 7.

Read more via Reuters

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