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G7 countries to discuss joint response to coronavirus crisis: Germany

AFP , Sunday 2 Feb 2020
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G7 countries will discuss a joint response to the coronavirus epidemic, Germany's health minister said on Sunday.

Jens Spahn said he had talked on the phone with his US counterpart and "we agreed that there should be a conference call, a discussion by G7 health ministers about this question with the aim of dealing with it together".

Spahn added: "There is no point in each country deciding on measures alone".

The Group of Seven (G7) comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

China imposed a lockdown Sunday on a major city far from the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic, as its death toll from the disease soared to 304 and the first fatality outside the country was reported in the Philippines.

Since emerging out of Wuhan late last year, the coronavirus has infected nearly 14,500 people across China and reached 24 countries.

The United States, Australia, New Zealand and Israel have banned foreign nationals from visiting if they have been in China recently, and they have also warned their own citizens against travelling there.

Mongolia, Russia and Nepal have closed their land borders.

The number of countries reporting infections rose to 24 after Britain, Russia and Sweden confirmed their first cases this weekend.

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