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Live Reporting

By David Molloy, Tom Spender and Roland Hughes

All times stated are UK

  1. Pause to our live coverage

    It is approaching 18:00 here in London and 02:00 in Wuhan, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak.

    We're going to pause our live coverage of this story from the time being - but you can always check our main news story for any late updates.

    To recap the day's events:

    • Several Chinese cities are now in "lockdown", with varying restrictions on transport and public events, including Wuhan, the suspected source, but also Huanggang, Ezhou and Xiantao
    • It's also the Lunar New Year period, when many people travel - but authorities have put the breaks on celebrations, with Beijing cancelling all major events and closing the iconic tourist spot of the Forbidden City
    • We've also had the first report of a death outside Hubei province, where Wuhan is located
    • And the virus has also reportedly spread to other countries, with Singapore and Vietnam joining the list of countries with cases to treat
    • If you're a British reader, there have been developments close to home, with four people being tested in Scotland and one man in Northern Ireland being monitored in isolation - though all are possible cases rather than confirmed
    • And the World Health Organisation is still debating whether or not to declare a global emergency. We'll let you know in our main news stories if they do

    Do you want to know more about this outbreak? We've got some excellent background material:

  2. Wuhan 'to build specialist hospital in six days'

    The Wuhan government is to build a new specialist hospital to receive coronavirus patients in just six days, state media report.

    The local government said it was following the example of a hospital built in Beijing in 2003 to help contain the Sars outbreak.

  3. Why cancelling Lunar New Year events is such a big deal

    Former BBC Beijing correspondent writes...

    Michael Bristow

    BBC World Service Asia Pacific editor

    For many people in China, this is the only time they will get to see their families this year. It's the only public holiday long enough for people to go all the way home if you live a long way away. It's like Christmas in the West.

    People will be concerned about their health and will know that enjoying yourself at a time of a health crisis is secondary.

    A vendor wearing a protective mask waits for customers at a stall selling Lunar New Year decorations at a market in Fuyang

    I can't remember a time of such disruption during China's biggest holiday. The government will be aware of this. But what they are more aware of is that with the Sars outbreak in 2003, it was criticised for not doing enough quickly enough.

    They don't want to be seen saying "carry on with the New Year celebrations" when there is a crisis going on. They would rather cancel events and make sure this crisis is in control rather than face the criticism.

  4. 'I fear this is going to get worse and worse'

    A doctor at a Wuhan hospital has told BBC News of her alarm at the spread of the outbreak. We have chosen to protect the doctor's identity.

    Quote Message: Today from 10:00, all boundaries in the city were closed - no in or out. People are not allowed to leave. We don't know how long this will last.
    Quote Message: Normally, Wuhan is a great place to live. We are proud of our work as doctors. But I fear this is going to get worse and worse.
    Quote Message: There is no anti-virus medication, so we can only treat symptomatically - decreasing fever and with good hydration. Right now, it's all about precautions.
  5. Indian nurse in Saudi Arabia 'does not have China virus'

    Earlier we quoted India's foreign ministry as saying that an Indian nurse working in Saudi Arabia had tested positive for the new coronavirus from Wuhan.

    However India's consulate in the Saudi city of Jeddah now says that the nurse is suffering from Mers - or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome - which emerged in 2015 and is a different form of coronavirus.

    View more on twitter
  6. Thursday's photos from China

    A man holds a tall and elegant flower amid a shop, while wearing a surgical mask
    Image caption: A Hong Kong resident buys flowers at a New Year fair - while taking precautions
    A police officer in ornate uniform wears a cheap filter mask, standing to attention amid a crowded train station
    Image caption: In a crowded Beijing railway station, passengers and police alike don their masks
    A man sitting in a car has his temperature taken by a uniformed soldier in front of a checkpoint
    Image caption: Earlier, those hoping to leave Wuhan by car had their temperatures taken to check for a telltale fever
  7. Man treated in Northern Ireland

    A man is being treated in an isolation ward in hospital in Belfast for symptoms associated with the coronavirus.

    The BBC understands that the man flew into Belfast from China at the weekend and had travelled from Wuhan.

    While the man is believed to have been admitted with a high temperature it's thought clinicians took the immediate steps of placing him in isolation following advice from health authorities.

    Four people who have recently travelled to Wuhan are also being tested for the virus in Scotland.

  8. 'A lot of people are quite anxious and panicky'

    An international student in Wuhan - the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak - has been speaking to the BBC about what life is like in the now locked-down city.

    Video content

    Video caption: An international student talks about the impact of the virus scare on his life
  9. Stay positive, government urges

    Kerry Allen

    BBC Monitoring, Chinese Media Analyst

    Despite widespread fear and concern as new coronavirus cases are announced every day, China's government media have leapt on the opportunity to emphasise positivity.

    Official media People's Daily and CCTV are extensively calling on people to share posters promoting the good work of the medical service and the public in trying to prevent the virus spreading.

    "Come on, Wuhan" and "Help each other" are slogans being pumped out, and shared hundreds of thousands of times – to the extent that posts containing the hashtag #ComeOnWuhan have been read more than 1.4bn times and posted more than 4 million times.

    Today, a black and white picture of a boat sailing across a river is being circulated hundreds of thousands of times.

    Addressing the Wuhan lockdown, a slogan accompanying it says: "Our city is sick, but we will cure it, and then again warmly welcome you to Wuhan".

    Black and white poster saying Our city is sick, but we will cure it, and then again warmly welcome you to Wuhan
  10. BreakingFirst death outside Hubei province

    The health authority in China's northern Hebei Province says a patient with the coronavirus there has died.

    The local health commission said the 80-year-old died on Wednesday but was not confirmed to have been infected with the virus until Thursday.

    It brings the total death toll to 18.

    All the other 17 confirmed deaths have been in Hubei Province, where the city of Wuhan is located. Hebei is some distance from where the other deaths occurred.

  11. Where has the virus spread?

    Here's a map showing most of the places where the virus has spread.

    It started in Wuhan, but since that's a major population centre and transport hub, it spread to other Chinese cities and, through air travel, to other countries near and far.

    We've recently had reports from Saudi Arabia and Vietnam, too - our map designer is on the case.

    A map showing the countries where the virus has been reported, and a close-up focus on which Chinese provinces
  12. Countries investigate suspected cases

    • Mexico says it is investigating three suspected cases of the virus in Tepatitlán in the central state of Jalisco. Local media reports said a 42-year-old man who returned from China on 10 January after visiting Wuhan had developed symptoms three days later. He was in contact with a 37-year-old woman and a 2-year-old child, both of whom also showed symptoms
    • Four people in Scotland who recently visited Wuhan and have respiratory symptoms are being tested
  13. Is this an epidemic or a pandemic? And what's the difference?

    Clippings arrayed in this composite image show China's Xinhua, Reuters, and the New York Times referring to an epidemic

    Journalists - the BBC included, we admit it - have tossed around the word "epidemic" a fair bit around this story.

    So what does that mean?

    The World Health Organisation says it's an illness "in a community or region... clearly in excess of normal expectancy". We often use the word "outbreak" to mean the same thing.

    There's no number behind the definition - it depends on the disease. So thousands of people having a cold isn't an epidemic, it's just normal in the winter season for many places.

    What about a pandemic?

    Well, in an epidemic, even though a lot more people get sick then you might expect, it only affects a specific area at a specific time.

    The word pandemic is used to describe a much wider outbreak - affecting multiple regions, countries - or even the entire world.

  14. What do we know about the virus?

    Michelle Roberts

    Health editor, BBC News online

    This is a new virus, never seen in humans before - and it can kill.

    So what do we know, and should we be worried?

    Video content

    Video caption: China coronavirus: What we know so far
  15. Hong Kong sets up two 'quarantine camps'

    Lady MacLehose Holiday Village, which is being used as one of two quarantine centres
    Image caption: Lady MacLehose Holiday Village in Sai Kung district is being used as one of two quarantine centres

    Hong Kong has turned two holiday camps, one of which is a former British military barracks, into quarantine areas for people who may have come into contact with the virus, officials said.

    The same sites were used as quarantine facilities during the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) outbreak 17 years ago, which killed nearly 300 people in Hong Kong.

    Two people in the city have so far tested positive for the coronavirus. Both had been in Wuhan. They are being treated in isolation wards.

    Wong Ka-hing, the director of the Centre for Health Protection, said three people who had come into close contact with the two confirmed cases would be taken to one of the camps, in rural Sai Kung district.

  16. Huanggang restricts travel

    It's midnight in the city of Huanggang, which lies about 70km east of Wuhan and is home to seven million people, and travel restrictions are just coming into force there.

    The bus and train networks are now closed and citizens have been asked not to leave by other means.

    Inside the city, entertainment venues such as cinemas and internet cafes have also been closed.

    So far 12 cases of coronavirus have been found in the city.

  17. Your questions answered

    What animal does the coronavirus come from?

    Michelle Roberts

    Health editor, BBC News online

    It is not yet known how the virus was transmitted. Other coronaviruses, such as Sars and Mers, came from civet cats and camels respectively.

    Experts are working to find the source.

    Standard recommendations to prevent infection apply. These include:

    • regular hand washing
    • covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
    • thoroughly cooking meat and eggs

    Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

  18. What's happened today?

    A lot of news about the coronavirus has flooded in, so here's a quick recap of the day's events:

    • The city of Wuhan, suspected to be the origin point for the newly-discovered virus, was put on lockdown this morning, effectively making it difficult for people to leave – with flights and trains cancelled
    • Hours later, the nearby city of Huanggang enacted similar measures to take effect from midnight local time
    • Shortly afterwards, Ezhou to the south shut its train stations, and Xiantao shut some of its transport links, as did Chibi
    • Outside of China, cases were reported in Vietnam, Singapore, and in an Indian nurse working in Saudi Arabia - adding to other cases previously reported in other countries
    • In Scotland, four people are suspected cases, and are being tested
    • Officials raised their count of known cases to more than 600
    • Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation is debating whether to declare a global emergency
  19. Tests on four people in Scotland

    Four people who have recently travelled from Wuhan to Scotland are being treated as suspected cases of coronavirus.

    The head of infection medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Professor Jurgen Haas, said all four had respiratory symptoms and had been in Wuhan within the last 14 days.

    It is believed that three patients are in Edinburgh and the fourth is in Glasgow. It is likely to be several days before tests will confirm whether the four have contracted coronavirus or not.

    Prof Juergen told the BBC it was "very likely" that cases would be confirmed in the UK.

    Read the full story here

  20. Chinese New Year events cancelled

    Man in Tiananmen Square Beijing

    The spread of the virus is prompting city authorities to cancel major events that attract big crowds to minimise the risk of infection.

    • Beijing has cancelled large-scale events including some Chinese New Year celebrations. The cancelled events include many popular temple fairs, which attract large crowds. Authorities also closed the Forbidden City, which attracts millions of visitors each year
    • Macau's tourism bureau has announced it is cancelling all official New Year celebrations
    • Hong Kong had already cancelled its new year parade through the Kowloon area because it did not want the event to attract continuing pro-democracy protests. It has also now cancelled the Lunar New year Cup football tournament
    • The city of Xiantao in Hubei Province, to the west of Wuhan, has cancelled all large events as part of a wide range of measures to stop the spread of the virus
    • And in the US, the Tri-Cities Chinese American Association in Washington State said it was cancelling New Year’s events because the first case of the virus in the US had been detected in the nearby city of Seattle. The Tri-Cities refer to Richland, Pascoe and Kennewick