Dulwich Prep school shuts as pupils return from coronavirus hotspots feeling ill
In an update addressed to parents on its website, Dulwich Prep said that as well as the two pupils who returned from a half-term holiday in one of the Category 2 areas and “have since become unwell”, it had been made aware of “other families within our school community where a parent has been asked to self-isolate by their employer”.
It said the two pupils were unrelated and from different sections of the school. The pupils had contacted NHS 111, self-isolated and were awaiting the results of tests. There would be a “professional deep clean” of the site to be completed by Friday and staff were preparing lessons and assignments to be delivered via online platforms in case the school remained closed beyond Monday morning.
“We hope to re-open on Monday 2 March but will publish details as soon as we hear the results of the tests being conducted on our pupils that have fallen ill. However, if either of our pupils test positive for COVID-19 we will remain closed for a longer period while the school undergoes a full deep clean.”
Shares of Microsoft Corp fell more than 4% after the company warned of weakness in PC business due to a hit to its supply chain from the coronavirus outbreak.
The company echoed similar statements from Apple Inc and HP. The drop in share price wiped off nearly $50 billion from the Microsoft’s market value on a day when broader markets were down more than 2%.
The virus has so far infected about 80,000 people, killed nearly 2,800 and spread to 44 countries, after originating in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
Apple was the first big technology firm to say the virus was affecting its production and demand in China. PayPal Holdings Inc and Mastercard Inc have also warned about a possible hit.
Several Wall Street analysts expect other technology companies with heavy presence in China to soon come out with their own statements.
Governments battling coronavirus epidemics from Iran to Australia shut schools and cancelled big events as they battled to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
For the first time, new infections reported around the world surpassed those in mainland China, where the flu-like disease emerged two months ago from an illegal wildlife market. It is now on the decline in the country after an aggressive containment campaign.
In Japan, where cases rose to 200, there was particular concern after a female tour bus guide tested positive for a second time – one of very few worldwide to do so.
Big gatherings have been halted in Tokyo, Japan’s capital, but it still plans to go ahead with the 2020 Olympics, whose cancellation or relocation would be a massive blow for the country.
“This virus has pandemic potential,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva. “This is not a time for fear. This is a time for taking action to prevent infection and save lives now.”
Hello everyone. I will be running the Guardian’s live blog, updating you on the latest information surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. If you have any news tips, images or updates from your area then please do share it with me.
We are at a ‘decisive point’ globally and must ‘move swiftly’, says WHO
The new coronavirus epidemic is at a “decisive point” globally, the World Health Organization chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, urging affected countries to “move swiftly” to contain the disease.
“We’re at a decisive point,” Tedros told reporters in Geneva.
“If you act aggressively now, you can contain this virus, you can prevent people getting sick, you can save lives.”
“There does not appear to be widespread community transmission,” he added.
Tedros emphasised that all countries should ensure their health systems were prepared for an outbreak. “We are actually in a very delicate situation in which the outbreak can go in any direction based on how we handle it,” he said.
More cases have been reported all over the world including in Switzerland, Kuwait, Spain, South Korea and Austria. Estonia, Denmark, Pakistan, Georgia, Norway, North Macedonia, Greece and Romania are among countries to report their first case of coronavirus in the last day.
China’s health authority has reported another drop in the number of new infections, with 433 new confirmed cases and 29 deaths in mainland China on Wednesday.
But Anne Schuchat, deputy director of the US CDC, said “the trajectory of what we are looking at over the weeks and months ahead is very uncertain”, and authorities should “dust off” their pandemic preparedness plans.
Australia has extended its travel ban on China and enacted its emergency response plan, because “there is every indication the world will soon enter the pandemic phase of the virus”, said the prime minister, Scott Morrison.
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