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Wuhan virus: 9 Dead and cases rised to 440

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The death toll in China’s novel coronavirus virus has gone up to nine with the confirmed infection cases sharply rising to 440, the health authorities said on Wednesday, warning that the disease could spread further in the ongoing Chinese holiday season during which millions travel at home and abroad.

The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes, but the virus that has killed people in China is a novel strain and not seen before.

Common symptoms of the novel coronavirus strain include respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, according to the WHO.

The Chinese health authorities announced on Wednesday that 440 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) had been reported in 13 provincial-level regions in the country by the end of Tuesday.

The cases had resulted in nine deaths, all in central China’s Hubei Province, Li Bin, deputy director of the National Health Commission told at a press conference here on Wednesday. Altogether 149 new confirmed cases were reported on Tuesday, Li added. Li said China was now at the “most critical stage” of prevention and control following confirmation that that human-to-human transmission of the virus had taken place.

The official said there was evidence that the disease was “mainly transmitted through the respiratory tract”. Overseas, one case has been confirmed in Japan, three in Thailand, and one in Korea.

The first case of the virus has now been reported in US with official confirmation that a person arrived from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus. The patient was hospitalised on Sunday, after arriving in Seattle from Wuhan on January 15, officials at the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sad. Li said the figures from the commission show a total of 2,197 close contacts have been traced.

A total of 1,394 are under medical observation while 765 people have been discharged. All of the deaths were reported in central Hubei province, where the virus first appeared in the city of Wuhan. China yet to confirm the exact source of the virus.

“Though the transmission route of the virus is yet to be fully understood, there is a possibility of virus mutation and a risk of further spread of the epidemic,” Li said.

The warning comes as millions of people across China are travelling within the country and abroad for the Lunar New Year week-long holiday. The holiday season began on January 10 and would last for 40 days. Officially, China will declare week-long holiday from January 24.

The Wuhan Health Commission said it would authorise medical institutions to quarantine all patients and people in close contact with them as a prevention and control measure, Li said. On Tuesday, the National Health Commission (NHC) upgraded the coronavirus to a Class B infectious disease, but said it would use the stricter control measures for a Class A disease to handle the outbreak, meaning any infection nationwide must be reported within two hours and monitored.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO), which is holding an emergency meeting on Wednesday, will consider declaring an international public health emergency over the virus – as it did with swine flu and Ebola. Such a declaration, if made, will be seen as an urgent call for a coordinated international response in view of fears that millions of Chinese are travelling at home and abroad for the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival holidays starting from January 24.

The week-long festival triggers biggest mass migration, clogging road, rail and air networks every year. India has already issued a travel warning. Several countries started screening travellers coming from China, especially from Wuhan to detect symptoms like fever. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang confirmed on Monday about Chinese official’s attendance at the emergency meeting of the International Health Regulation (IHR) called by the WHO.

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International

Panjshir Captured, Taliban To Form New Govt Soon!

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Panjshir CapturedThe Taliban are going to form the next government in Afghanistan soon. The Taliban on Monday had won the battle for the Panjshir Valley and got total control over Afghanistan. Taliban came to power on August 15 in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops after 20 years of war.

According to the reports, the Taliban have invited Turkey, Pakistan, Russia, Qatar, China and Iran for the event. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said in a press conference in Kabul on Monday that, “War has ended and they hope to have a stable Afghanistan. Anyone who takes up arms, is the enemy of the people and the country.”

A Taliban leader said that, “People should know that the invaders will never reconstruct our country and it is the responsibility of our people to do it themselves.”

It is also said that some of the technical teams from Turkey, Qatar and a United Arab Emirates company are working to restart operations at the Kabul airport.

Afghanistan’s new leadership have promised to be more “inclusive” than during their first regime. They have also pledged for a government that represents Afghanistan’s complex ethnic makeup, however women are unlikely to be included at the top levels.

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Taliban Take Over Afghanistan: Burqa Prices Increase Ten Times

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The Taliban have seized power in Afghanistan after 20 years and President Ghani fled the country. In a Facebook post, Ghani said that he had left the country to avoid clashes with the Taliban and he reportedly fled from Kabul with four cars and a chopper full of money. Talibans have tortured a lot and gave haunting memories of their rule before they have been ousted by the US after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. During the Taliban’s rule way back in 1996, women need to wear a burqa that covered their entire body and face, and they were prohibited from attending school, working, or leaving the house without a male relative. After the Taliban captured Kabul in 1996, the the Sunni Islamist organization has kept stringent rules. The rules changed after September 11, 2001 but now with the return of the Taliban, the women in Afghanistan are going to face so many problems. The women shouldn’t step out without wearing burqas, now, the price of burqas has been increased to tenfold in Kabul.

According to a CNN Report, a woman in Kabul said that every household had just one to two burqas to share between her, her sister and their mother. She further added that, “If we don’t have a burqa, we have to get a bedsheet or something to make it a bigger scarf.” The Taliban leadership has said that women education is not banned in the country but some say that the rules with time.

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Ashraf Ghani Fled Afghanistan With Cars, Chopper Full Of Money

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Ashraf GhaniAfghanistan president Ashraf Ghani left capital Kabul on Sunday. He fled Afghanistan on Sunday as Taliban militants entered Kabul virtually unopposed. Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday and took the control over Afghanistan. According to the RIA news agency, Russia’s embassy in Kabul announced on Monday that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had escaped the country with four cars and a chopper full of cash, and left some money behind because it wouldn’t fit all in. As of now, there is no information on whereabouts of Ghani.

Nikita Ishchenko, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Kabul, was quoted as saying by RIA, “Four cars were full of money, they tried to stuff another part of the money into a helicopter, but not all of it fit. And some of the money was left lying on the tarmac.”

According to reports, Ashraf Ghani is in Oman after Tajikistan refused to let the plane carrying him to land. Ghani is also expected to travel to the United States.

Just before leaving Afghanistan, Ghani shared a post on Facebook and said that he is leaving the country so as to avoid bloodshed.

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