Coronavirus: At least four dead in China quarantine hotel collapse


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Media captionRescuers are searching for survivors in the rubble

At least four people are dead and 29 missing after a hotel being used as a coronavirus quarantine facility in the Chinese city of Quanzhou collapsed on Saturday.

Rescue workers are still searching the rubble of the five-storey Xinjia Hotel in the southern province of Fujian.

Of 71 initially trapped, 38 were rescued, said the Ministry of Emergency Management.

It is not clear what caused the collapse.

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Rescue workers continued to search for survivors on Sunday

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The hotel reportedly had 80 guest rooms

The hotel collapsed at about 19:30 local time (11:30 GMT) on Saturday.

Chinese state media say it was being used as a quarantine facility monitoring people who had had close contact with coronavirus patients.

The city Quanzhou has recorded 47 cases of the virus.

The building’s first floor had been undergoing renovation since before the Lunar New Year, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The hotel reportedly opened in 2018 and had 80 guest rooms.

Police have summoned the building’s owner, state media report.

One woman told the Beijing News website that relatives including her sister had been under quarantine there.

“I can’t contact them, they’re not answering their phones,” she said.

“I’m under quarantine too [at another hotel] and I’m very worried, I don’t know what to do. They were healthy, they took their temperatures every day, and the tests showed that everything was normal.”

As of Friday, Fujian province had 296 cases of coronavirus. Meanwhile 10,819 people have been placed under observation because they have been in close contact with someone infected.

The number of new reported cases in China dropped on Saturday to 44, down from 99 the previous day.

The World Health Organization says more than 101,000 people worldwide have now contracted the virus.

More than 3,000 people have died – the majority in the Chinese province of Hubei where the outbreak originated.


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