- The World Health Organization has upgraded the coronavirus’ status to a global health emergency.
- Factories/suppliers in mainland China are closed with the Lunar New Year holiday having been extended to February 13, 2020, in the Hubei Province (including Wuhan) and to February 17, 2020, in Wenzhou (of Zhejiang Province).
- Many offices in Hong Kong have now confirmed the extension of their office closures until February 10, 2020.
- All cross-border trucking services have stopped temporarily in Hong Kong with freight services to/from Hong Kong warehouses and factories still operating.
How it spreads
Coronaviruses “primarily spread through close contact with another individual, in particular through coughing and sneezing on somebody else who is within a range of about 3 to 6 feet from that person,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, a state health officer for Washington, where the patient with confirmed coronavirus has been hospitalized.
If an infected person sneezes or coughs onto a surface — a countertop, for example — and another person touches that surface and then rubs his or her eyes or nose, for example, the latter may get sick.
It’s still unclear, however, how long the virus particles for this new coronavirus can live on surfaces.
Wash your hands
All of this makes proper hand-washing critical to help stop the spread of the germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing hands with soap and water before eating, after using the bathroom, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and before and after caring for a sick friend or a family member.
The most effective way to clean hands is to wet them with clean water, then apply soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds, before rinsing and drying with a clean towel.
Hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol content may also be used, but the CDC warns they are not effective against all germs.