Travellers from the coronavirus-hit region of China will be separated from other passengers when arriving in the UK as part of new measures in response to the outbreak.
Chinese officials have confirmed the first instance of human-to-human transimission of the virus. Authorities have also warned that it “could mutate and spread further”. It comes as the CDC has confirmed the first case of 2019 coronavirus in the US, adding another to the more than 300 cases identified by authorities since the virus began circulating earlier this year. The virus originated in Wuhan, and has since spread around Asia, in the neighbouring cities of Shenzen and Beijing, and into Thailand.
Passengers on flights from Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated, will be screened at Heathrow. They will also be observed for signs of illness, be handed medical advice leaflets and will have their temperature checked if necessary.
According to the Evening Standard a flight from Wuhan is due to land at Heathrow on Wednesday evening at around 6pm.
The Coronavirus is in the same viral family as SARS and MERS, which killed a combined total of almost 1,600 people when they originated in 2002 and 2015 respectively. This has sparked fears of a similar deadly pandemic in 2020.
Germany and the UK have urged China to allow UN observers “immediate and unfettered access” to detention centers in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region where up to a million Muslim Uyghurs are believed to be under detention in over 1000 so-called “education centers”. BY Jan van der Made
The request comes after a second major leak of documents regarding a Chinese program that is officially aimed at “integrating” Muslims by forcing them to follow study courses focused on Han-Chinese culture and language, while discouraging them from studying or practicing Islam.
Germany and the UK have urged China to allow UN observers “immediate and unfettered access” to detention centers in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region
The Chinese government has described the leaked documents as “pure fabrication and fake news.” In a statement this weekend, the press office of Beijing’s UK embassy said: “First, there are no so-called ‘detention camps’ in Xinjiang. Vocational Education and Training centres have been established for the prevention of terrorism.”
The China Cables includes a manual detailing the setup and management of “vocational training camps,” explaining how to “prevent escape,” “prevent trouble” by implementing strict rules; establish “full video surveillance coverage” in the dormitories and classrooms.
Study sessions (all in Mandarin) focus on “de-extremification” and are intended to “resolve ideological contradictions” and promote “repentance and confession by the students for them to understand deeply the illegal, criminal and dangerous nature of their past behaviour.”
The China Cables also contain four “bulletins,” providing details and reasons for the daily use of the “Integrated Joint Operation Platform,” a mass-surveillance and predictive-policing program which analyzes data from Xinjiang and was revealed to the world by Human Rights Watch last year.
China initially denied the existence of the camps, but later said they were used for “vocational training”. Beijing admits that the need for the “education” of Uyghurs is born out of concern for terrorist attacks.
More and more eyewitness reports have emerged, describing the grueling routine within the camps.
The US stock market dropped sharply Wednesday with the Dow plunging 500 points on opening and government-bond yields tumbling around the world as concerns about the ongoing trade war between the US and China continue to decimate Wall Street confidence.
Following one-day of respite, the panic over trade seemed to reignite all over again with the 10-year US government bond yield tumbling to a near three-year low of 1.6298 percent, as investors poured money into bonds out of fear the trade war could slow global growth.
As of Wednesday morning, Dow’s futures losses indicated a staggering drop of 2.3 percent. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also down 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.
When asked about recent market volatility on the White House lawn on Wednesday, Trump said: ‘I think the market reaction is to be expected. I might have expected it even more. At some point, as I said, we have to take on China. They’ve been taking us to the cleaners for 25 years.’
Despite the fallout, gold appears to be winner of the chaos as investors sought safe assets. Prices edged toward $1,500 an ounce for the first time since 2013 – up nearly 17 percent this year and rising 1.4 percent on Wednesday.
Shares of technology companies, including Apple Inc and chipmakers, were higher before the bell. The iPhone maker’s shares rose 0.8 percent, while those of Intel Corp, Advanced Micro Devices Inc and Nvidia Corp gained more than 1 percent.
At 9.57am ET, the Dow was down 461.62 points, or 1.77 percent, at 25,567.90, and the S&P 500 was down 42.25 points, or 1.47 percent, at 2,839.52. The Nasdaq Composite was down 96.50 points, or 1.23 percent, at 7,736.77.
With the second-quarter earnings season winding down, about 73% of the 426 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far have topped earnings estimates.