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The coronavirus is a new type of virus that was discovered in December 2019. It started in Wuhan, China and has since spread to other areas of China and now other countries. The Chinese government has been trying to stop the spread by locking down some of their cities. They have told businesses to close and people not to leave their homes. They are trying to contain the virus as much as possible.

The World Health Organisation has now declared the coronavirus to be a global emergency. The virus has now spread to 18 countries. The WHO said it wasn’t a global emergency before because it was only in a few countries. Now, they say it has spread too much. There have been reports of the virus in Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and others. Several countries have evacuated their citizens from Wuhan with the permission of the Chinese government.

Countries around the world have been trying to stop the virus. In Hong Kong, winter vacation for schools was extended by two weeks. Many companies in China have closed to try and help decrease the spread of the virus. The WHO praised China’s reaction to the virus and the “extraordinary measures” they have taken to stop the spread of the disease. The most widely reported of these measures is the Chinese government’s plan to build a completely new hospital in six days in order to help stop the virus.

Difficult Words

Lock down (phrasal verb): To close and not allow others to come in or out.

Contain (v): To control or restrain, keep from others.

Declare (v): Announce or say to others.

Evacuate (v): To tell others to leave because of danger.

Extraordinary (adj): Very special, amazing.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: Coming Soon!

American English: 

Match the Synonym!

 1. Lock down  A. Restrain
 2. Contain  B. Amazing
 3. Declare  C. Remove
 4. Evacuate  D. Close
 5. Extraordinary  E. Announce

True or False?

1. The coronavirus started in the U.S. T / F

2. The Chinese government has told people to stay at home. T / F

3. The WHO is still waiting to declare the virus a global emergency. T / F

4. The virus is in less than 10 countries. T / F

5. Hong Kong extended students’ winter vacation. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. new / a / The / of / is / virus / coronavirus / type

2. to / has / Chinese government / The / been / stop / the spread / trying

3. have / to / They / close / businesses / told

4. countries / to / now / 18 / virus / spread / The / has

5. for / schools / was extended / winter / In / Hong Kong, / vacation

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: Coming Soon!

American English: 

Virus Discovered Reports
Global Measures Vacation

The coronavirus is a new type of virus that was (1)_______________ in December 2019. It started in Wuhan, China and has since spread to other areas of China and now other countries. The Chinese government has been trying to stop the spread by locking down some of their cities. They have told businesses to close and people not to leave their homes. They are trying to contain the (2)__________ as much as possible.

The World Health Organisation has now declared the coronavirus to be a (3)___________ emergency. The virus has now spread to 18 countries. The WHO said it wasn’t a global emergency before because it was only in a few countries. Now, they say it has spread too much. There have been (4)____________ of the virus in Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and others. Several countries have evacuated their citizens from Wuhan with the permission of the Chinese government.

Countries around the world have been trying to stop the virus. In Hong Kong, winter (5)____________ for schools was extended by two weeks. Many companies in China have closed to try and help decrease the spread of the virus. The WHO praised China’s reaction to the virus and the “extraordinary measures” they have taken to stop the spread of the disease. The most widely reported of these (6)_____________ is the Chinese government’s plan to build a completely new hospital in six days in order to help stop the virus.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Has anyone in your country been diagnosed with the virus?
5. Are you worried about the Coronavirus?
6. Has your government taken any precautions against the virus?
7. Has your country been affected by the virus?
8. Have any other virus outbreaks occurred in your country in the past?
9. What do you think about how China has handled the situation?
10. Was your country affected by the SARS virus?
11. What would you do if you experienced a lockdown, like in Wuhan?
12. Has your country evacuated citizens from China?
13. Is it a good idea to evacuate citizens?
14. Does the virus make you not want to visit China in the future?
15. What do you think about the xenophobia experienced by some people?
16. Are people overreacting about the virus?
17. What do you think about the Chinese government building a new hospital so quickly?
18. Do you think your country would react any differently than China has?
19. Have you changed anything about your daily life because of this outbreak?
20. Would you be upset if your government sent evacuated people to your city?