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Beijing orders 14-day quarantine for returnees

Gao Yongzhe and Huang Wenli talking with patients at "Wuhan Livingroom" in Wuhan

Beijing, Feb 16 (UITV/IANS)- Authorities in Beijing have ordered everyone returning to the Chinese capital city to go into quarantine for 14 days or risk punishment in the latest attempt to contain the deadly new coronavirus, it was reported on Friday.

The notice on Friday from Beijing's virus prevention working group was issued as residents returned from spending the Lunar New Year in other parts of China, the BBC reported.

Beijing residents were also told to "self-quarantine or go to designated venues to quarantine" immediately after returning.

The holiday was extended this year to help contain the outbreak.

More than 20 million people live in Beijing.

The measure came as Egypt on Friday confirmed a coronavirus case, the first in the African continent.

Outside mainland China, there have been more than 500 cases in 24 countries, and three deaths: one each in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan.

As of Saturday, the death toll due to the virus in the Chinese mainland increased to 1,523, with a total of 66,492 confirmed cases.