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Coronavirus: Hong Kong Begins Two-week Mandatory Quarantine for Those Coming from Mainland China

In a bid to contain the deadly coronavirus, Hong Kong has begun a mandatory two-week quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland China.

According to the new guideline, visitors must isolate themselves in hotel rooms or government-run centres while residents must stay inside their homes.

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According to the authority, anyone caught flouting the new rules will be fined and a prison sentence.

READ: Coronavirus: Death Toll Hits 563 As China Scrambles for Bed Space

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Meanwhile, the death toll of victims of the deadly virus has risen to 722 in mainland China, including one American. A Japanese man also died with symptoms consistent with the virus.

The 60-year-old US citizen, the first confirmed non-Chinese victim of the illness, died on Thursday at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, according to a US embassy spokesman in Beijing, who did not give details.

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The Japanese Foreign Ministry has also revealed that a man in his 60s died, also in Wuhan, from what was suspected to be a case of coronavirus. However, it said it could not confirm the diagnosis, and that Chinese officials said the cause of death was viral pneumonia.

As at the time of filing this report, the number of confirmed cases in mainland China by the World Health Organization (WHO) stands at 34,546 while 270 cases have been confirmed in 25 countries with two fatalities – one in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines.

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There have been 26 confirmed cases in Hong Kong as tens of thousands of travelers queued at the Chinese border city of Shenzhen to beat the Friday midnight deadline with only a trickle of people arriving via the Shenzhen Bay Port crossing.

READ: All You Need to Know About Coronavirus

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Meanwhile, there was positive news on Friday when the WHO said there had been fewer reported infections in China in the past two days.

Director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, however, cautioned against reading too much into those figures.

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