At least 170 people have died from a new coronavirus in China following an outbreak in the central city of Wuhan, forcing a government lockdown in almost 20 cities that, in effect, has quarantined an estimated 56 million people.
More than 8,000 cases have been reported worldwide, most of them in China and especially in Wuhan and nearby cities in Hubei province.
The infection is now more widespread than the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak, which also originated in China, in terms of affected people but not deaths.
Here is what you need to know:
What is coronavirus?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
These viruses were originally transmitted between animals and people. SARS, for instance, was believed to have been transmitted from civet cats to humans while MERS travelled from a type of camel to humans.
Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
The name coronavirus comes from the Latin word corona, meaning crown or halo. Under an electron microscope, the image of the virus is reminiscent of a solar corona.
A novel coronavirus, identified by Chinese authorities on January 7 and named 2019-nCoV, is a new strain that had not been previously identified in humans.
Little is known about it, although human-to-human transmission has been confirmed.
What are the symptoms?
According to the WHO, signs of infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
In more severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
The incubation period of the coronavirus remains unknown. Some sources say it could be between 10 and 14 days.
How deadly is it?
Some experts say it may not be as deadly as other types of coronavirus such as SARS, which killed nearly 800 people worldwide, more than 300 in China alone – during a 2002-03 outbreak that also originated from China.
MERS, which did not spread as widely, was more deadly, killing one-third of those it infected.
In China, however, the infection is more widespread than SARS in terms of case numbers.
Where have cases been reported?
Most cases have been reported in China.
All deaths have been in China – the vast majority in Hubei province.
The virus has spread to many Asian countries, as well as Australia, Europe, North America and the Middle Easr. Nearly all of the dozens of cases outside China are among people who recently travelled there.
Read more about which countries have confirmed cases here.
What is being done to stop it spreading?
There is no vaccine yet for the new virus.
Chinese authorities have effectively sealed off Wuhan, state media said.
The move was meant to “resolutely contain the momentum of the epidemic spreading” and protect lives, the central city’s special command centre against the virus said, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
More than a dozen other Chinese cities also adopted transport restrictions, affecting 56 million people.
Several airlines, including United Airlines and British Airways, have cancelled flights to China.
Airports around the world have introduced screening measures and some countries are working to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan.
Where did the virus originate?
Chinese health authorities are still trying to determine the origin of the virus, which they say came from a seafood market in Wuhan where wildlife was also traded illegally.
The WHO also says an animal source appears most likely to be the primary source of the outbreak.
Snakes – including the Chinese krait and the cobra – may be the source of the newly discovered virus, according to Chinese scientists.
Is this a global emergency?
The outbreak constitutes a global health emergency, the WHO has said.
The decision to sound the top-level alarm was made after the first confirmed cases of transmission between people outside China.
The international health alert is a call on countries around the world to coordinate their response under the guidance of the UN health agency.
There have been five global health emergencies since 2005 when the declaration was formalised – swine flu in 2009; polio in 2014; Ebola in 2014; Zika in 2016 and Ebola again in 2019.
Chaos: Agbogbloshie scrap dealers fires shots at police over de-congestion exercise – ghanapublisher.com
The scrap dealers at Agbogbloshie in Accra are resisting the decongestion exercise by the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council.
The scrap dealers and onion traders at Agbogbloshie are being relocated to Adjen Kotoku to help free the congestion in the central business district of Accra as part of the agenda “Make Accra work again” initiated by the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey.
Graphic Online’s reporter Joshua Bediako Koomson who is with the team undertaking the exercise reports that the de-congestion exercise started Thursday morning was moving smoothly until the team arrived at the scrap dealers section.
The dealers set used vehicle tyres ablaze in protest against their removal from the spot.
According to our reporter Joshua Bediako, “They are firing shots and throwing stones at the security personnel.”
“They also started burning tyres”, he added.
He said the exercise aimed at removing onion traders and scrap dealers to Adjen Kotoku was peaceful until they reached the scrapyard.
The scrap dealers argued that they were not served any notice to vacate the place.
“So the military had to intervene by firing warning shots to disperse them,” he added.
Calm down and support Prez. Akkufo Addo – Nana B to Ejura Youth – ghanapublisher.com
NPP YOUTH WING APPEALS TO EJURA YOUTH TO CALM DOWN, SUPPORTS PREZ AKUFO-ADDO’s DIRECTIVE FOR PUBLIC INQUIRY
The National Youth wing of the New Patriotic Party has learned with profound concern reports of the alleged murder of Ibrahim Mohammed aka Kaaka and the unfortunate death of two protesters in Ejura in the Ashanti Region.
At the outset, we condemn in no uncertain terms the alleged mob attack that led to the untimely death of Kaaka and also the use of disproportionate force by the joint security force against the rampaging youth in Ejura.
We sincerely sympathize with the families of the deceased and pray that the good Lord comfort and strengthen them in the difficult times they find themselves.
As agonizing and regrettable as the death of these three individuals are, the Youth wing, in all humility, appeals to the youth in Ejura to calm down and tread a path that engenders peace, love and unity to honor the memories of the dead.
As youth we hold the key to the future of our great nation and we cannot jeopardize this great task by resorting to instant retaliation and violence which threatens the peaceful coexistence in our country.
We welcome and support the directive from H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the Minister of Interior, Hon. Ambrose Dery, MP, to immediately conduct Public Inquiry into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate occurrences on Tuesday, 29th June, 2021.
Again, we add on to the numerous calls on the Police to expedite investigations into the unfortunate death of Kaaka and serve justice to him and the bereaved family by bringing the perpetrators to book.
That said, It is deeply worrying that the opposition NDC seeks to use these very unfortunate and tragic occurrences as an opportunity to undermine the peace and progress we have collectively attained in almost 30 years of our democracy, admired and spoken about in the Sub-Region.
As citizens of Ghana and as Youth, it is our duty to denounce and condemn such statements which rather weakens our strength as a nation in fighting atrocious acts.
We must take up the call for social justice in an appropriate manner which ensures that all are protected and we contribute in the collective effort to support the peace process.
Once again, we solemnly commiserate with the families, friends and loved ones of the deceased and wish the injured a speedy recovery.
Henry Nana Boakye
(National Youth Organizer, NPP)
Breaking : Saddick Adams and his team Leaving Angel Broadcasting Network? – ghanapublisher.com
Award-winning broadcast sports journalist and head of sports of Accra-based Angel FM, Saddick Adams, popularly known as ‘Sports Obama’ together with his team are on the verge of leaving Angel Broadcasting Network (ABN).
Believe it or not, this website can extensively report the popular sports broadcaster and his crew (including Nathaniel Obeng, Isaac Ansah Apagya and many others) are on their way to Media General – Onua FM and Onua TV.
Saddick Adams ‘Sports Obama’ and his crew, would however join former compatriot at Angel FM, Captain Smart at Media General.
Reasons for the decision to part ways with the media outfit is currently unknown but this portal suggests the crew is not enthused about the turn of events at the Accra based station, thus management’s decision to take its popular evening sports show, ‘ Angel Floodlights show’ off Angel TV.
Although none of the crew have confirmed or denied the rumours whether they are on the verge to divorce their relationship with the Angel Broadcasting Network; however this website sighted a post on Saddick Adams’ facebook wall Saturday evening which in a way confirms this particular story.
Here is the post: