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Archive for the ‘Excercise’ Category

PM tells nation not to panic over virus – myRepublica

Posted: March 21, 2020 at 2:42 am


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KATHMANDU, March 21: Announcing a slew of measures to contain the possible spread of the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister KP Oli in an address to the nation on Friday urged people not to be panicked by the current situation but to take necessary precautions to stay safe.

Prime Minister Oli announced the closure of all public and private services, except essential services, for two weeks. The government has been taking stringent measures to prevent a possible spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The prime minister announced the closure of all international flights to and from Nepal from Sunday until March 31. But the government has decided not to close the borders.

Giving priority to the health and security of passengers coming through the border entry points, arrivals will be processed after mandatory health checkups. Necessary coordination will be made with neighboring countries in this regard, said Oli.

The government has decided to close down the operation of long-route public buses from Monday until further notice but domestic flights will operate, he said.

All services to be delivered from public, community and private institutions at the federal, provincial and local levels are closed from March 22 till April 3, except for essential services listed in the Nepal Gazette, he further said.

The Nepal Gazette updated six months ago lists as essential services 17 services related to transportation and the distribution of essential foods, drinking water, petroleum, health services and internal security. Posts and telecommunications, press and publications, military equipment and garbage management, banking, insurance and electricity wont be affected by the government closure decision.

The government had already decided to close down educational institutions including schools and colleges, cinemas, clubs, party venues and other crowded places for a month. More steps can be taken with your (peoples) cooperation, depending on the situation of the pandemic, said Oli in his address.

The prime minister has also appealed to the public to maintain proper sanitization and avoid crowds and commutes outside unless necessary.

Keeping in view the possible shortage of essential goods in the market, Prime Minister Oli also urged people not to stock up on essentials more than their need.

Dont be swayed by rumors and follow the advice of experts, doctors or technicians, be patient, excercise endurance and caution, and dont panic, Oli urged.

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PM tells nation not to panic over virus - myRepublica

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March 21st, 2020 at 2:42 am

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#WeApplaud: French pay tribute to health workers from their balconies – FRANCE 24 English

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Issued on: 18/03/2020 - 18:54Modified: 18/03/2020 - 18:54

On Tuesday evening, people across France gathered at their balconies and windows to clap for the countrys health workers battling the coronavirus pandemic as the country went into lockdown.

The applause was triggered by calls across social media throughout Tuesday, as the country headed towards its first night under a government enforced lockdown that has seen people prevented from leaving their homes other than to work, excercise, shop for food or get medical treatment.

Using the hashtags#OnApplaudit (We Applaud) and #TousAlaFentre (All at the Window), French people were asked to start applauding en masse at either 7pm or 8pm and to continue doing so at the same time every night.

It is an initiative that first started in Italy and Spain, both under lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak, and has since spread to other countries including Greece, Portugal and Switzerland.

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#WeApplaud: French pay tribute to health workers from their balconies - FRANCE 24 English

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March 21st, 2020 at 2:41 am

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Today at the news stands – GhanaWeb

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General News of Thursday, 19 March 2020

Source: http://www.ghanaweb.com

Stories making headlines on the front pages in the major newspapers

Daily Graphic

NACOB makes largest cannabis haul

EC submits instrument on voter registration to Parliament

31 foreign nationals denied entry, 9 quarantined

AG seeks legal backing to COVID-19 directives

Ghanaian Times

COVID-19 update: Ghana's economy faces meltdown

GMA calls for suspension of mass registration excercise in E/R

29 foreigners refused entry into Ghana over COVID-19

3 Ghanaians confirmed dead in Europe from COVID-19

Daily Guide

COVID-19 kills 3 Ghanaians in Italy, Denmark

Imposition Restrictions Bill laid

Public resort to Akpeteshie to fight COVID-19

EC seeks legal backing for new register

Ofosu Ampofo witness in quarantine

Emirates, KLM suspend flights

B&FT

CORONANOMICS: BoG takes swift action to keep economy on foot

Tourism Authority pushes tax reliefs for industry players

COVID-19: World Bank Group increases response to $14bn to help sustain economics, protect jobs

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Today at the news stands - GhanaWeb

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March 21st, 2020 at 2:41 am

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Watch: Deprived of football, players try to fill the ‘big void’ – Times of Malta

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Mowing the lawn, playing football with your dog, turning on the TV... footballers around Europe are struggling to fill the big void created by the coronavirus shutdown.

Many are writing about the unfamiliar experience on social media. Some have already come to the conclusion that there is nothing to do.

Real Madrid players, forced into quarantine by a case of coronavirus in the clubs basketball squad, have been training at home, where most of them already had facilities and equipment.

Captain Sergio Ramos posted a video on Instagram showing him sprinting on a treadmill.

Marco Asensio, who suffered a knee injury last summer, posted a video showing that he was continuing his recovery programme in his garden.

But even for sportsmen used to working out, there is a limit.

Im here, in my garden, theres nothing to do, French striker Karim Benzema said in a video on social media where he appeared alongside his dog, earning him a comparison with Will Smith in the post-apocalyptic film I am legend.

Fabien Causeur, a Real Madrid basketball guard, has launched a live video channel to show his quarantine challenge.

He has been taking on athletes and celebrities in three-minute simultaneous excercise including Thibaut Courtois, the Real Madrid goalkeeper, and NBA star and former Real Madrid teammate Luka Doncic.

At Barcelona, players are following a specific and personalised programme set by the club which is monitoring their efforts remotely using biometric tags.

Luis Suarez had been a step ahead of Ramos, posting a video of himself trudging on a treadmill last week.

In Italy, Juventus midfielder Douglas Costa filmed himself practising his dribbling in his back garden with his dog struggling to fill the role of defender.

Alexis Sanchez, on loan to Inter Milan, has two golden retrievers and a much bigger garden but he comfortably outplayed them in a video he put up online. He also posted photos of himself topless, gathering chopped wood.

Jessica Melena, the wife of Ciro Immobile posted a cookery video on Instagram, showing the Lazio striker waving a spatula and mixing a cake while she coached him.

Immobile posted his own video in which he juggled furry toys with his feet.

Napolis Belgian forward Dries Mertens posted pictures of a work out with a huge bottle of red wine.

In France, Strasbourg midfielder Adrien Thomasson, was looking ahead to another empty week.

Well have nothing to do, in the middle of the season, its never happened before. Our habits have been turned upside down, he said.

Thomasson is a ski fan but as other sports are also at a standstill that leaves a big void for this ski lover.

Im going to watch series, movies, its going to be really limited.

Television is also the refuge for James Lea Siliki, a Rennes midfielder, who tweeted the times of a couple of French quiz shows. Later he admitted a passion for a French TV karaoke show adding Ill spare you my voice.

Romain Thomas, a defender at Angers, said his daily routine involved jogging, gardening and watching French reality TV.

He said he has talked to team-mates.

We said to each other: Look, its a beautiful day, its time to mow. So I mowed the lawn in the garden, it gives me time to think about something else.

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Watch: Deprived of football, players try to fill the 'big void' - Times of Malta

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March 21st, 2020 at 2:41 am

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Mier arraigned in circuit court on threat of terrorism charges relating to bank robbery case – Ogemaw County Herald

Posted: March 15, 2020 at 3:49 am


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By Matthew Keeton

WEST BRANCH Michael Mier, who faces charges related to the Sept. 6 robbery of Mercantile Bank in Rose City, was arraigned in 34th Circuit Court on Wednesday, Feb. 26, for eight charges of false report for threat of terrorism related to his alleged bomb threats to area schools and hospitals the morning of the robbery. A hearing was also held in which Mier filed multiple motions regarding his bank robbery and armed robbery charges on Feb. 26-27, most of which were ultimately denied by presiding Judge Robert Bennett.

Mier faces two charges of bank robbery and two armed robbery charges, each of which carry potential life sentences, while the false report for threat of terrorism charges each carry up to 20 years and/or $20,000 in fines and costs along with reimbursement of any costs incurred as a result of those threats. However, as he is also facing a felony fourth offense notice on all counts, he is effectively facing 12 life sentences.

Mier previously requested self-representation, though appointed attorney Thomas Schaiberger continued to serve as co-council. However, Schaiberger requested and was granted dismissal from the case on the grounds that Mier filed a grievance with the State Bar of Michigan. Mier also filed a grievance against Schultz for what he alleged to be prosecutorial misconduct. It was stated during the hearing that Mier currently has court-appointed representation for the threat of terrorism charges and still maintains the right to an attorney for the charges related to the robbery, which Mier stated his wish to excercise in future court proceedings.

Motions filed by Mier included a motion to suppress DNA evidence and evidence seized from initial and subsequent search warrants, however, Bennett explained at length that the warrants for that evidence were justified.

Mier also filed a motion to suppress on other grounds and to dismiss for reasons surrounding his arrest, arraignment, access to evidence, actions of 82nd District Court Judge Richard E. Noble and Prosecuting Attorney LaDonna Schultz, excessive force regarding his arrest and confession. After hearing examination of witnesses by both prosecution and defense, arguments presented by Mier and documentation related to the case, Bennett found Miers motion to be without merit.

Within hours of that (arrest), a warrant a weekend warrant is reviewed by the magistrate and approved, and bond is reviewed, Bennett said in part regarding his denial of Miers motion. Under the court rule, that is all thats necessary. On the next business day, you were arraigned. Again, your constitutional rights were adhered to and respected right along the way.

During the course of the proceedings, it was revealed that a be-on-the-lookout was put out for what is alleged to be Miers vehicle shortly after the robbery occurred, as a local resident saw the vehicle parked in a cemetery in close proximity the bank, found its location odd and sent a photo of the vehicle to Rose City Police Chief Dean Coleman. The vehicle was gone shortly after the robbery took place, and a police K-9 later followed a trail leading from the bank to the area where the vehicle had been parked. The photo of the vehicle matched the make and model of Miers vehicle, a late-model GMC pickup truck, and articles of clothing containing Miers DNA were later found near the scene. Mier argued this evidence to be circumstantial and not justifiable grounds for Arenac County Sheriffs Department deputies to later attempt a traffic stop, which Mier admitted during proceedings to fleeing, leading to a deputy performing a PIT maneuver which resulted in his vehicle leaving the roadway by a cornfield where he was subsequently arrested after a search.

Examining the evidence in its totality, that is a legitimate basis for a be-on-the-lookout to be disseminated to local law enforcement, and it gave the officers in the field reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle Bennett said. If you would have stopped and complied you know what might have happened? They may have had to let you go, because at that time, you may have been right. But you didnt do that, did you? You ran, and now they have a right to arrest you, and because they have a right to arrest you, and theyre investigating the crime of bank robbery in this county, they have a right to take you here to continue that investigation. You were arrested, you were seized, and there was probable cause to do it.

One of Miers motions was to make video recording of his initial interview following his arrest part of the court record, which Bennett allowed. Mier alleged excessive use of force during the interview by Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Craig Johnson, citing Johnson threatened to bury him, the validity of which Bennett also declined.

I watched the entire interview, Bennett said. You are taking totally out of context Detective Johnsons statement about burying you. He was not implying that he was going to kill you and literally put you six feet in the ground. He was talking about, in this legal process, in this case were talking about, Im going to bury you, and Im going to see to it that you spend the rest of your life in prison.

Furthermore, Bennett stated in regard to that issue that no other coercive actions took place, Mier was read his Miranda rights, and that both he and law enforcement officers conducting the interview initialled a form attesting to that fact.

Ultimately, you didnt make any statements against your interest theres nothing to suppress, because you didnt confess, Bennett said.

Mier argued there was not sufficient evidence to justify his initial arraignment by the magistrate.

All that evidence the money, the clothes, the shoes that I was wearing, the truck even, did not come to the police until after I was arrested, Mier stated.

So is it your contention under Michigan law that before someone can be arrested for a crime, the department has to have all their evidence wrapped up and ready to go? Bennett asked, to which Mier replied, They have to have something.

They did, and Ive already gone through that twice, Bennett replied. By the time you were arraigned, all of that was in. Its in the affidavit for the search warrant. Thats probable cause for a search warrant and probable cause for an arrest.

Mier is scheduled for a pretrial conference on Friday, April 3 at 9:30 a.m.

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Mier arraigned in circuit court on threat of terrorism charges relating to bank robbery case - Ogemaw County Herald

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March 15th, 2020 at 3:49 am

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Kerala Man Suspected Of Coronavirus Flees Isolation Ward, Brought Back Within Hours – NDTV News

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The man was tracked and brought back within hours, say officials. (Representational image)

A man under observation for suspected coronavirus infection at the isolation ward of the district hospital here fled, but was tracked and brought back within hours. The man was among those who had interacted with the three-member family who returned from Italy and have tested positive for the virus.

Pathnamthitta district collector PB Nooh said one person, who was under observation at the general hospital had escaped but was later tracked and brought back. "If even a single person under observation goes out, it is a threat. This is a public hazard".

The one excercise which the health authorities have to undertake on Tuesday is to see how many people had come incontact with this person after he left the hospital. There is need to isolate those people with whom he mayhave come into contact, the collector said "This is the timeto behave in a very socially responsible manner".

With six positive cases being reported, the state government has already warned that stringent action would be taken against those flouting the directions of the health department. Health Minister K K Shailaja has warned that those coming from COVID19 affected nations, should report to authorities on arrival in the state, failing which a case would be registered against them under the Public Health Act.

A 3-member family, which had come from Italy recently and had tested positive along with two of their relatives had not reported their arrival to the authorities, health officials said.

At least 733 people who had come in contact with them have been tracked, the collector said and have been placed under observation. While 18 have been admitted to isolation wards in hospital the remaining are under home surveillance.

A two-year-old child is among those under obsevation at the isolation ward, health department sources said. The tracking excercise would continue on Wednesday also.

Meanwhile, an awareness class was held for migrant workers at Pathnamthitta district this morning. However, no directions have been issued to workers fromother states to leave the state. "We are planning to give extra care to migrant workerswith labour officer visiting their colonies and as part of theawareness drive and speaking to them in a language theyunderstand," he said.

A three-year-old boy, who arrived with his parents in Kochi from Italy, tested positive on Monday, a day after three people, also with travel history from the European nation,were declared positive for the virus along with two of their relatives.

The Health Minister has said surveillance system would be stregthened with the support of ASHA workers, civic authorities and ward members and resident associations. Presently, 1,116 people are under surveillance in thestate for the corona virus, 967 in home quarantine and 149 in isolation wards of hospitals. Two 90-year-old relatives of the Pathnamthitta family, who tested positive, have been admitted to Kottayam medicalcollege hospital and their samples have been sent for testing, she said. "If they test positive for the virus, it would be highlyrisky", she had said.

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Kerala Man Suspected Of Coronavirus Flees Isolation Ward, Brought Back Within Hours - NDTV News

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March 15th, 2020 at 3:49 am

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Police to conduct training exercise in Kilbirnie – Stuff.co.nz

Posted: February 14, 2020 at 1:41 am


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RICKY WILSON/STUFF

Police are conducting a training exercise in Wellington this week.

Wellington residents will notice an increased police presence in their areadue to atraining exercise which will starton Monday.

Theexercise will be based at101 Rongotai Road, Kilbirnie, and will continue untilFriday,February 14.

"There will be an increased police presence in the area between 8am and 4pm, and this will include staff carrying firearms.

Supplied

Kilbernie residents might hear some loud bangs due to a police training exercise.

READ MORE: * Police to take part in training exercise at Hawke's Bay Airport * Police carrying firearms, 'loud noises' expected for training exercise in south Auckland * Police training excercise in Manukau Harbour

"Members of the public may hear breaking glass and some loud bangs coming from the venue."

Police reassured residents that there wasno cause for concern during the exercise.

*Forqueries, contact the Wellington Police Communications Centre on (04) 381 2000 and quote event number P040820976.

Wellington

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Police to conduct training exercise in Kilbirnie - Stuff.co.nz

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February 14th, 2020 at 1:41 am

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Ladki Haath Se Nikal Jayegi: When Will Society Retire This Phrase? – SheThePeople

Posted: January 22, 2020 at 2:41 pm


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Indian elders have a long list of favorite dialogues that they use to excercise outdated notions of patriarchy today. Ladki Haath Se Nikal Jayegi is one that is dearest to them. Be it a family function, or a regular conversation at home, many of us have often had to hear this phrase. From preferences to mannerisms, almost every aspect of our personality that is not up to the standards set by society is targetted. The aunties have made a checklist and they judge all your actions accordingly. Wearing a dress of a length that they consider short or hanging out with guys or speaking loudly or maybe voicing your opinions in public are some of the misdemeanors on that list. If you tick any of these boxes, then get ready to being called a spoilt girl.

Sharvani Sinha, a resident of Noida, currently studying at MIT, Bangalore tells SheThePeople.TV how she faced taunts for hanging out with boys, I have always been into sports. While growing up, a lot of my female friends stopped playing sports probably because of puberty. But I did not stop playing. So the only people left to play with were guys. As a result of which I used to play sports with guys and started hanging out with them a lot more. This drew a considerable amount of attention from the aunties. The biased mindset that plagues our society portrays budding sportswomen in poor light. Interacting with guys and maintaining a friendly relationship is completely healthy and doesnt mean that any girl has slipped out of her parents control.

Read Also:Kajol Srinivasan: Defying Gender Stereotypes Through Stand Up

Girls in remote areas especially are confined by the boundaries set by their families. Its a norm to get them married at a tender age and they are expected to start families in the early twenties, thus forfeiting their careers and dreams. Imparting education to girls or letting them do jobs often implies losing control on them since they will become more confident individuals. Sandhya, a matriculate residing in a village in UP, working as a salesgirl to financially support her family, says that she was looked down upon by the neighbors and relatives as she drove a moped to commute to work.

However, gendered restrictions dont just limit girls outside of their homes, they do it inside them as well. And girls who challenge such stigmas have to pay the price for it. Apoorva Pant, a Delhi University student pursuing Economics claims that her straightforwardness often landed her up in trouble. She speaks her mind boldly which many elders disapprove of. We are still stuck with a backward mindset that expects girls to abide by the behavioral stereotypes society has framed. Patriarchy feels intimidated by girls who speak their mind, because it knows that they are challenging and question the norms burdened on them, instead of enduring them in silence.

Another Delhi University student, Aadhyaa Singh has had to hear the above mentioned warning often issued by society to Indian parents because of the choice of her clothes. She says, Ive always worn clothes that made me feel comfortable and my parents have never stopped me. However, I had once heard a relative of mine asking my mother to keep a check on my activities since her experienced vision sensed something wrong in the way I used to dress up.

Poonam, who is a mother of an 18-year-old daughter shares that she never put restrictions on how her child presented herself. Ive always stood by her choices and have defended her actions in front of the family members who criticized her. If shes right then nobody can force her to do otherwise, says the homemaker.

Read Also:Lets Break These Weird Stereotypes About Women

With changing times, it is necessary to transform these age-old perceptions. Our clothes dont define our disposition. Befriending guys doesnt reflect upon our characters. Being too loud or confident doesnt snatch away our femininity. And education can never spoil us. All of us have the right to lead our lives on our terms! Which is why society needs to retire this phrase of Ladki haath se nikal jayegi and let young girls just be.

Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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Ladki Haath Se Nikal Jayegi: When Will Society Retire This Phrase? - SheThePeople

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January 22nd, 2020 at 2:41 pm

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Invershin hall launches health and wellbeing festival – Northern Times

Posted: January 21, 2020 at 9:45 pm


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Managers at Invershin Hall are running a Health and Wellbeing Festival.

Feel Good Feel Fit for 2020 started last Thursday and is running for six weeks until February 2

The festival has evolved from a successful block of ceilidh fitness sessions run at the hall last year.

Hall treasurer Elissa Steven said: We organised another six week block of ceildih dancing which started on January 16.

We thought we would build on it and turn it into a Health and Wellbeing Festival.

The festival got off to a good start with 14 people turning up for the first ceilidh dancing session.

,It wasa fantastic said Elissa. Everyone had a brilliant time, getting fit and smiling!

Last Sunday saw a Walk for All at the Falls of Shin and further events are planned.

These incude an outdoor adventure at Ferrycroft - a cycle, walk or jog to tie in with the Big Bike Revival funded by Cycling UK.

Further family walks are on the programme as well as a pop-up health cafe, yoga, circuits and an excercise class.

Hall committee members are also organising a holistic eveningat which it is hoped to have various treatments.

Visit the halls Facebook page for further information.

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Invershin hall launches health and wellbeing festival - Northern Times

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January 21st, 2020 at 9:45 pm

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What is coronavirus and how worried should we be? – Sydney Morning Herald

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It started late last year in a seafood market in the sprawling Chinese city of Wuhan. A mysterious virus previously unknown to science has since left six people dead and hundreds more sick. Cases have spread to Japan, South Korea and Thailand as Chinese authorities confirm that the illness, which causes pneumonia-like symptoms, can be passed from person to person.

China's President Xi Jinping has vowed to do everything possible to contain the outbreak. But, with hundreds of millions of people preparing to travel for the nation's biggest annual holiday, Lunar New Year, countries are scrambling to screen their borders, including Australia.

By January 21, the US confirmed the virus had spread to America, and the World Health Organisation was convening an emergency meeting to consider how big a threat the outbreak poses.

So what is a coronavirus, how does it spread and is this the world's next SARS?

Travellers wear face masks in Beijing. China as reported a sharp rise in the number of people infected with coronavirus.Credit:AP

Coronaviruses are a broad family of viruses that cause respiratory illness. They are mostly found in animals only six have previously been identified in humans including SARS-CoV, which led to the deadly SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)outbreak in 2003.

This new virus brings that tally to seven. Known as 2019-nCov (for novel coronavirus), the strain emerged in December, and has been linked to a seafood market in the capital of China's central Hubei province, Wuhan. The market has since been closed.

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Symptoms of the virus range from coughing, fever and a sore throat to more serious complications like pneumonia. At least four people diagnosed with the illness have died and many remain in a serious condition.

Scientists have unlocked the genetic code of the virus in "record time" - with cooperation from China - according to Robert Booy from the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance at the University of Sydney. But it is still unclear how easily and rapidly the illness will spread.

Experts are cautious when assessing its danger, noting so far other known coronaviruses have a higher mortality rate.

Professor Booy says about 10 per cent of people with SARS 800 died and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) has proven even more deadly, with about 35 per cent of cases resulting in death.

On January 22, the Morrison government said there had been no diagnosed cases in Australia so far, despite a number of false alarms. That includes a man in Queensland who was temporarily held in qurantine for testing after he became ill following recent travel to Wuhan.

None of the known cases so far world-wide have involved children and at least one of the initial three people who had died also had an underlying disease, the government said in a statement.

The Coronavirus seen under an electron miscroscope.Credit:AFP

Coronaviruses are commonly carried by bats and then passed onto humans through mammals sold at live animal markets, says Professor Booy. Animals appear the most likely cause of this outbreak too.

Previously, Chinese authorities had claimed it could only be passed from animal to humans. But it's been reported at least two of those infected never set foot in Wuhan during the outbreak. Zhong Nanshan, a top Chinese expert investigating the virus, told state media they had caught it from family members and medical workers had also been infected. He warned it was now certainly a "human-to-human transmission phenomenon".

While Wuhan is believed to be the epicentre of the virus, it has spread to other Chinese cities including the capital, Beijing. Four cases have been reported outside China so far, in Japan, Thailand and South Korea. On January 21, Queensland authorities revealed they had quarantined a man for testing in Brisbane, after his recent travel to Wuhan.

The next three weeks or so will be critical to the world's understanding of the virus, says infectious disease specialist at the Australian National University Sanjaya Senanayake. But so far he says the outbreak has been milder than when SARS exploded onto the scene. Still, it has hit at the worst possible time for China amid Lunar New Year celebrations.

"So many people will be travelling, including here to Australia," Associate Professor Senanayake says. "I don't think we need to panic but I'm more worried now we're learning people outside the infamous seafood market have been infected."

Some experts predict the severity of the outbreak will depend on how many people, on average, a person with the virus can infect. Senanayake says he expects it will play out in a similar fashion to SARS people will catch it the way they catch a cold, from contact with infected people, animals or contaminated surfaces.

"With SARS, there wasn't one group of people affected but how people reacted did depend on their health," he says. "Fortunately, in this case, more people are getting milder cases."

On January 22, the World Health Organisation will meet to decide just that weighing up whether or not to declare the outbreak a global health crisis, such as they did during the start of Ebola in the Congo and the emergence of Zika virus in the Americas in 2016.

Chinese authorities have so far maintained the outbreak is"still preventable and controllable" but the country will ramp up monitoring over the Lunar New Year. On state media, Zhong said there was no danger of a repeat of the deadly SARS epidemic so long as precautions were taken.

Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory expert, confirmed the virus could be passed between humans but said China's quarantine procedures could still contain its spread.Credit:AP

President Xi has instructed his government to promptly release information on the virus and deepen international co-operation. Many countries have begun screening for the virus at airports, including US and now Australia.

On social media, people are posting prevention advice such as wearing masks and washing hands. Some have cancelled their travel plans for Lunar New Year. Senanayake stresses masks are only effective at blocking airborne viruses for the first few hours and should be changed regularly.

The number of cases may well be much higher than official numbers - the Imperial College of London estimates it's likely there are at least 1700 cases, when those undiagnosed are included.

"It's winter in China, a lot of these [cases] will seem like coughs and colds," Senanayake says.

While communication was notoriously sparse from China during the SARS crisis, Senanayake says it has been markedly better this time around, and international screening and quarantine methods have also improved.

"Still we [the world] are vulnerable to a superbug or virus, and even this could mutate at any time."

The news the virus may have already reached Australia comes as no surprise to experts, who say its steady influx of Chinese travellers make it vulnerable to such an outbreak. But, fresh from a meeting with state and territory health officials, the country's chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said the risk to Australians still remains low and well-established mechanisms were in place if it increased. At Sydney airport, where three direct flights from Wuhan arrive each week, passengers will be met by biosecurity officers asking if they have any symptoms.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday that the government had raised the travel advice for those travelling to Wuhan to level 2, urging them to excercise a high degree of caution.

At the Centre for InternationalSecurity Studies, Adam Kamradt-Scott says Australia's public health system is well-placed to care for anyone infected but only international cooperation would see the virus properly contained.

Given that there are direct flights between Sydney and Wuhan, which is currently the epicentre of the virus, there is a reasonable chance that we might see cases emerge in Australia."

With Rachel Clun and Dana McCauley

Sherryn Groch is the explainer reporter for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

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What is coronavirus and how worried should we be? - Sydney Morning Herald

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January 21st, 2020 at 9:45 pm

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