Article source: www.incontextinternational.org

Chinese authorities ordered an extension of a public holiday in an effort to contain the coronavirus epidemic which has been traced to a food market in the city of Wuhan. Wuhan is the largest city in central China with 11-15 million citizens. China is tightening its containment measures as the spread of the virus has escalated. Chinese officials confirmed 2,744 cases, including 461 people in critical condition, as the death toll rose to 106. To prevent the virus from spreading a ban on wildlife trade has been put in place along with travel restrictions in almost 20 cities. Chinese Health Minister Ma Xiaowei confirmed that the virus can spread before patients exhibit symptoms, making containment and prevention more difficult.  

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common flu to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The virus is mainly found in China, but cases have been reported in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Macau, Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, France, and the US. Taiwan’s vice president offered their assistance to China to fight the new coronavirus outbreak and authorities on the island tightened restrictions on visitors from China to prevent its spread as they experienced four cases within their country. Many countries have begun to evacuate consulate personnel and citizens as well as ban or tighten travel to and from China.

According to Joshua Project, China is home to about 1.4 billion people of which 9.2% profess to be Christian and 43.6% are non-religious. Christians in Wuhan are reporting challenges with lack of public services such as electricity, water, etc. as a result of the lockdown. There are problems buying food, supplies, baby formula, etc. The situation is reportedly becoming desperate. The house churches in Wuhan have sent out a letter to the international Christian body asking for prayer.

Please join with us in praying for China.

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Date published: 01/01/2020

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