In Brief: Confirmed cases in UK double to 8

Confirmed cases in UK double to 8

LONDON • Britain said yesterday that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had doubled to eight, as Health Minister Matt Hancock declared the virus "a serious and imminent threat to public health" to give doctors more powers to isolate those suspected of being infected.

The new cases in Britain are linked to a Briton who had returned from Singapore and stayed at a French ski resort between Jan 24 and 28. On Sunday, French health officials said five British nationals - including a child - had been diagnosed with the new virus at the mountain village.


China app to check for close contact

BEIJING • China has rolled out a mobile app enabling people to check whether they are at risk of catching the coronavirus.

The "close contact detector" app, released last Saturday evening, lets users scan a QR code via mobile apps such as Alipay, WeChat or QQ to make an inquiry.

After registering with a phone number, users need to enter their name and ID number to know whether they were in close contact with someone infected.

Every registered phone number can be used to inquire for three ID numbers. Those who have been in close contact with an infected person are advised to stay at home and get in touch with the local health authorities.

The app was developed by the General Office of the State Council, the National Health Commission and China Electronics Technology Group Corporation.


Wuhan collection hubs set up abroad

WUHAN • The transport authorities in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, have announced that they will launch collection hubs for anti-virus supplies in four overseas cities.

The collection hubs will be set up in Los Angeles and Chicago in the United States, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and Incheon in South Korea. The authorities have assigned Apex Logistics International to collect and register the donated or purchased supplies in the hubs, and help with shipping to Wuhan.

The logistics company will also be tasked with publicising information about the most-needed supplies, including their technical standards, quantity and target users.

The move is aimed at facilitating the collection and transportation of anti-virus supplies to Wuhan.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2020, with the headline 'InBrief'. Subscribe