New virus cases in U.K. and Germany
LONDON (AP) — Britain and Germany announced more cases of the new virus from China on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed virus cases in Europe to 30.
In Germany, all but two cases are related to auto parts supplier Webasto, whose headquarters near Munich was visited by a Chinese colleague. Germany’s 13th confirmed case of the new coronavirus, announced by Bavaria’s health ministry, was the wife of an employee previously diagnosed with virus.
Two of their children are among those infected. Neither they nor their mother are showing any symptoms.
Germany’s two other cases tested positive after arriving on an evacuation flight from China last weekend.
British authorities confirmed the country’s third case, saying the patient did not contract the virus in the U.K. They did not elaborate. The two other cases are a Chinese student studying at York University in England and a relative of that student.
In Geneva, the head of the World Health Organization said it is convening an international research conference next week to identify promising drug and vaccine candidates to be fast-tracked for development against the new virus.
At a press conference Thursday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the U.N. health agency will be inviting scientists from around the world, both in person and virtually, next Tuesday and Wednesday to identify research priorities and coordinate the effort to find effective drugs and vaccines.
On the travel front, Air France announced it was prolonging by more than a month its suspension of flights to mainland China, which won’t now restart before March 16 at the earliest because of the new virus.
The company’s current suspension of all flights to Shanghai and Beijing was meant to last until this Sunday. Air France and partner airline KLM plan to gradually resume services to China on March 16, together offering one daily flight to both Shanghai and Beijing, either on Air France from Paris or on KLM from Amsterdam.
Disinfection equipment is carried by a worker Wednesday as a precautionary measures against the spreading of novel coronavirus at Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest, Hungary.