Here’s what you need to know:
The State Department tells Americans not to go to China.
The State Department on Thursday night issued a travel advisory telling Americans not to travel to China because of the public health threat posed by the dangerous new coronavirus. The department set the new advisory at Level 4, or red — its highest alert, reserved for the most perilous situations.
More than 200 people have died, with about 9,800 infections confirmed.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has gone up more than tenfold in a week, and Chinese officials on Friday reported the highest death toll in a 24-hour period.
◆ Forty-three more deaths in China were announced, bringing the toll to 213.
◆ Nearly 2,000 new cases were recorded in the country in the past 24 hours, raising the worldwide total to nearly 9,800, according to Chinese and World Health Organization data. The vast majority of the cases are inside China; 98 cases have been confirmed in 18 other countries.
◆ Tibet has reported its first confirmed case. This means that all of China’s provinces and territories have now been touched by the outbreak.
◆ Thailand and Japan have each reported 14 cases of infection; Hong Kong and Singapore have 10; Taiwan has eight; Australia, Malaysia and Macau each have seven; France and the United States have six; South Korea, Germany and the United Arab Emirates each have four; Canada has three; Vietnam and Italy each have two; and India, the Philippines, Nepal, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Finland each have one.
◆ Cases recorded in Taiwan, Germany, Vietnam, Japan, France and the United States involved patients who had not been to China. No deaths have been reported outside China.
Facebook says it will act to stop virus-related misinformation.
Facebook on Thursday said it was taking several steps to prevent the spread of misinformation related to the coronavirus, including removing “content with false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities that could cause harm to people who believe them.”
The statement provided examples: “This includes claims related to false cures or prevention methods — like drinking bleach cures the coronavirus — or claims that create confusion about health resources that are available.”
The company, which plans to promote important virus-related updates at the top of its News Feed, also said that when its third-party fact checkers rate information as false, that information’s spread will be limited on Facebook and Instagram, and users will be shown accurate information instead. Users who try to share posts identified as false, or who have already shared them, will be told that the content has been debunked, the company said.
On Wednesday, Twitter made changes to its search algorithm to prioritize results from reputable health organizations. It said those changes were in place only in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, Britain and Vietnam, but that they would expand as needed. Twitter is blocked in mainland China.
W.H.O. declares the outbreak a global health emergency.
The World Health Organization declared on Thursday that the new coronavirus outbreak was a global health emergency, acknowledging that the disease represents a risk outside of China, where it emerged last month.
The declaration — officially called a Public Health Emergency of International Concern — serves notice to all United Nations member states that the world’s top health advisory body rates the situation as serious.
Countries can then decide whether to close their borders, cancel flights, screen people arriving at airports or take other measures.
The decision came as cases have begun to appear in people who had not traveled to China during the outbreak.
Russell Goldman, Li Yuan, E. Justin Swanson, Kate Conger, Miriam Jordan, Emma Bubola, Elisabetta Povoledo and Jason Horowitz contributed reporting. Elsie Chen, Zoe Mou, Albee Zhang, Amber Wang, Yiwei Wang and Claire Fu contributed research.