Feds Issue Level 4 Warning Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Number of coronavirus deaths tops 100
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2020 6:23 AM CST
Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 100
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam wears a protective face mask speaks during a press conference held in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

(Newser) – As the coronavirus outbreak spreads, the State Department is warning Americans to avoid going to China. The State Department issued a Level 3 warning Monday, urging US citizens to avoid all nonessential travel to the country. A Level 4 warning—a highest-level alert—warns against travel to Hubei province, which is at the center of the outbreak. The government warned it has "limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens" in the province, the Hill reports. According to Chinese authorities, the number of confirmed deaths from the coronavirus jumped Monday from 81 to 106, including the first death in Beijing, the Guardian reports. The number of countries affected has also risen, with nations including Germany and Cambodia reporting their first cases. The total number of cases in China alone is now more than 4,500, reports the South China Morning Post.

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The US and other countries are chartering flights to get their citizens out of Wuhan, Hubei's capital. San Francisco native Doug Perez, however, tells the AP that since his girlfriend, a Chinese citizen, won't be allowed on the plane, he is staying put. "A lot of foreigners are stuck here," he says. "There is no way on Earth many of us, including myself, are going to leave our loved ones." He says they have been hunkered down in their apartment for days—and guards refused to let him leave the apartment compound Monday night. In Hong Kong, leader Carrie Lam rejected calls to completely shut down the border with mainland China Tuesday, but said cross-border rail services would be suspended and the number of flights and buses from China would be reduced. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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