Chinese President Xi Jinping leaves after his speech at the opening ceremony for the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, April 26, 2019.
Zenith Bank BetaLife
Zenith Bank BetaLife
Zenith Bank BetaLife
Zenith Bank BetaLife

Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned that spread of the deadly coronavirus disease is intensifying.

President Jinping issued the warning after holding a special government meeting on the Lunar New Year public holiday.

The country is facing a “grave situation” Mr Xi reportedly told senior officials.

Death toll from the outbreak has reached 56 with almost 2,000 already infected since its discovery in the city of Wuhan.

The US has announced that staff at the Wuhan consulate will be evacuated on a special flight on Tuesday.

The State Department said that private Americans most at risk will also be able to board the flight to San Francisco.

Meanwhile, UK-based researchers have warned of a real possibility that China will not be able to contain the virus.

Travel restrictions have come in place in several affected cities, and from Sunday, private vehicles will be banned from central districts of Wuhan, the source of the outbreak.

A state newspaper, People’s Daily, is said to have reported that a second emergency hospital is to be built there within weeks to handle 1,300 new patients, and will be finished in half a month.

It added that it would be the second such rapid construction project as work on another 1,000-bed hospital had already begun.

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