Coronavirus Advice - Latest News

Update: 19 February 2020 12:00

Wendy is invited by the BBC to speak on BBC1 News, BBC World News and BBC News Channel about the impact of coronavirus on the tourism industry.

Hear how Wendy Wu Tours are responding to this, the measures China are taking to beat the virus and reopen its doors again for tourism.


Update: 16 February 08:30

  • China announces drop in new cases for third straight day
  • China has announced a drop in new cases from the coronavirus outbreak for a third consecutive day. On Sunday, authorities reported 2,009 new cases and 142 more deaths nationwide. New cases spiked earlier in the week after a change in the way they were counted but have been falling ever since.

    Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that along with a drop in infections within Hubei there had also been a rapid increase in the number of people who had recovered.

    On Saturday, World Health Organization (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised Beijing' response to the outbreak.

Update: 15 February 11:00

  • New crown pneumonia vaccines have entered experimental testing stage
  • The China Health and Medical Commission today announced that some of the new crown pneumonia vaccines have entered the experimental testing stage. “The safety of vaccines is first and foremost, researchers need to give time to develop safe and effective vaccine products.”

Updated: 14 February 2020

  • Coronavirus outbreak estimated to peak in Wuhan mid-late February 2020
  • The coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan could peak in mid-to-late-February if the basic reproduction number (R0) of the virus continues to vary as it has in Wuhan, according to preliminary new estimates from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
  • The number of deaths and infections reported as caused by the coronavirus in China has risen after authorities changed the way they calculate the figures. Hubei has started using a broader definition to diagnose people - which accounts for most of the rise in cases.
  • The province - which accounts for more than 80% of overall Chinese infections - now includes "clinically diagnosed cases" in the number of confirmed cases. This means it includes those showing symptoms, and having a CT scan showing an infected lung, rather than relying only on the standard nucleic acid tests.

TRAVEL POLICY FOR CHINA TOURS

We are carefully monitoring the current travel advice, in line with our forthcoming tour departures, on a daily basis. The current travel advice is relevant for travel to China now, i.e in the next few days, and is changing on a daily basis. At the moment the travel advice to China is do not travel to mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao).

March Departures
All clients due to travel to China up to 31 March are being contacted to make alternative arrangements. We will be progressively contacting our clients in departure date order as the situation continues. All tours beyond 31 March are currently planned to operate as normal.

April & May Departures
We are expecting our tours to run smoothly without any issues.
In the unlikely event that we are unable to offer your full tour, we will be in contact 21 days prior to your tour departure date to discuss your options with you.

June onwards
If you wish to amend or cancel your booking, standard terms and conditions apply as detailed in your booking confirmation.

Travel to all other destinations remains unchanged.

Our passengers’ health and wellbeing is always our top priority and we continue to carefully monitor this situation.

Check before you travel

We recommend you visit Smart Traveller before you travel, for the latest information.
 


Updated: 10 February 2020

World Health Organization confirms coronavirus cases are stabilising and peak is imminent

The number of coronavirus cases being reported on a daily basis in China is stabilising, confirmed the World Health Organization on Sunday 9 February. The health agency advises this is good news and represents a significant turning point in the curtailment of the virus. Whilst reports would suggest that the virus is peaking the WHO advised that it would need to assess the case data over the next five to seven days to confirm this. Commenting on the latest reports, Michael Ryan, head of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme said “There has been a stabilisation in the number of cases reported from Hubei and we’re now in a four-day stable period where the number of reported cases hasn't advanced.”

WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, also reinforced the message that the number of reported cases is stabilising, reflecting the impact of the control measures that have been put in place.

As it stands the total number of people who have fully recovered form the virus is 3,466 – a figure which is nearly four times higher than the current mortality rate.

Overall the fatality rate remains at 2% compared to SARS which had a fatality rate of 9.6% and MERS at 37.2%.

It must also be noted that the current mortality rate is 910 whereas in 2019, influenza was responsible for 57,300 deaths around the world and infected over 41.3 million people.
 


Updated: 30 January 2020

Wendy was a guest speaker on BBC World News and the BBC Business Show giving her commentary on the Coronavirus situation.  

 

  • Dr Zhong Nanshan, the medical expert behind the speed elimination of SARS and the leading doctor on the current Coronavirus, has stated that the virus should reach a peak in a week to 10 days and it will not increase on a large scale.
  • The virus has been successfully identified, separated and isolated, and medical tests can now accurately detect and report on the virus within three hours.
  • The immunisation is expected to be developed in the lab within 30 days. Once developed it will then be field tested, then mass produced and released to the affected area with overall completion expected in 2 months.
  • Xiehe Hospital in Wuhan has successfully treated 11 virus patients and released them, with all being completely clear of infection.
  • Two hospitals are being built, each with 1000 beds, in order to provide a full quarantine facility.
  • As of midnight on 28 January, the National Health Commission have received a total of 4,515 confirmed cases of the virus. This figure includes 1,239 severe cases and 132 deaths. 103 cases have since been treated and discharged from hospital having completely recovered. There are a further 6,973 suspected cases under quarantine.
  • The majority of the mortality cases are elderly patients, of an Asian ethnicity who have recently travelled to or live in Wuhan.
  • For up to date statistics on the Novel Coronavirus visit http://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Updated: 29 January 2020

We are carefully monitoring the current travel advice, in line with our forthcoming tour departures, on a daily basis.

At the moment the travel advice to China is to avoid all travel to Hubei Province as well as all but essential travel to mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). Currently some sightseeing attractions are temporarily closed owing to the extended New Year celebrations.

The current travel advice is relevant for travel to China now, i.e in the next few days, and is changing on a daily basis. We are monitoring the situation closely and will provide an update as soon as this information changes.

If you are travelling with us to China during February, you will be contacted today to discuss what options are available to you. Travel to China beyond February is currently planned to operate as normal.

Our passengers’ health and wellbeing is always our top priority and we continue to carefully monitor this situation.


Updated: 28 January 2020

  • As of midnight on 27 January, the National Health Commission confirmed a total of 4,515 cases of the virus. This figure includes 976 severe cases as well as 106 deaths. 60 cases have since been discharged from hospital having completely recovered. There are a further 6,973 suspected cases.
  • Medics are controlling the escalation, evidenced in the fact that 47,833 people, deemed as being in close contact with the virus, have now been tracked. 44,132 members of this group are receiving medical treatment, with 914 members of this group released on the same day.

Updated: 27 January 2020

  • The virus has been successfully identified, separated and isolated.
  • Medical tests can now accurately detect and report on the virus within three hours.
  • The immunisation is expected to be developed in the lab within 30 days. Once developed it will then be field tested, then mass produced and released to the affected area with overall completion expected in 2 months.
  • Xiehe Hospital in Wuhan has successfully treated 11 virus patients and released them, with all being completely clear of infection.
  • Two hospitals are being built, each with 1000 beds, in order to provide a full quarantine facility.
  • As of midnight on 26 January, the National Health Commission had received a total of 2,744 confirmed cases, including 80 cases of mortality (the mortality rate is 2.9% among patients. It is a level 2 contagious disease, much lower than SARS and Ebola, both of which are level 1), and 51 cases of total recovery.
  • The majority of the mortality cases are elderly patients, of an Asian ethnicity who have recently travelled to or live in Wuhan.
  • The virus is passed on by saliva, at close contact.

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