Nepal | May 29, 2020

China confirms person-to-person spread of new virus as fourth death reported

Reuters
Share Now:
  • Chinese health expert confirms virus can pass person-to-person
  • Fourth person dies from pneumonia in city of Wuhan
  • Authorities have so far confirmed at least 217 cases

SHANGHAI: The Chinese official investigating a pneumonia outbreak stemming from a new coronavirus said the disease can spread from person to person but can be halted with increased vigilance, as authorities on Tuesday confirmed a fourth death.

Zhong Nanshan said there was no danger of a repeat of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic that killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002-2003 outbreak, which started in China, as long as precautions were taken.

“It took only two weeks to identify the novel coronavirus,” state news agency Xinhua quoted Zhong as saying late on Monday.

The outbreak was still in its early stages and China had good surveillance and quarantine systems to help control it, he added.

The outbreak has spread from the central city of Wuhan to cities including Beijing and Shanghai, with more than 200 cases reported so far. Four cases have been reported outside China – in South Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Australia on Tuesday said it would screen passengers on flights from Wuhan amid rising concerns that the virus will spread globally as Chinese travellers take flights abroad for the Lunar New Year holiday starting this week.

Authorities around the globe, including in the United States and many Asian countries, have stepped up screening of travellers from Wuhan.

Chinese authorities confirmed a total of 217 cases of the virus in China as of 6 p.m. (1000 GMT) on Monday, state television reported, 198 of which were in Wuhan.

A fourth person died on Jan. 19, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said. The 89-year-old man, who had underlying health diseases including coronary heart disease, developed symptoms on Jan. 13 and was admitted to hospital five days later, it added.

Zhong, who is renowned in China for his work fighting SARS in 2003, confirmed that the virus can pass from person-to-person.

Fifteen medical workers in Wuhan had been diagnosed with pneumonia, with one other suspected case, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said. Of the infected staff, one was in critical condition.

In Shanghai, officials on Tuesday confirmed a second case involving a 35-year-man who had visited Wuhan in early January, and said they were monitoring four other suspected cases.

The virus causes a type of pneumonia and belongs to the same family of coronaviruses as SARS. Symptoms include fever and difficulty in breathing, which are similar to many other respiratory diseases and pose complications for screening efforts.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday an animal source appeared most likely to be the primary origin of the outbreak and that some “limited human-to-human transmission” occurred between close contacts.

The Geneva-based U.N. agency convened an emergency committee for Wednesday to assess whether the outbreak constitutes an international health emergency and what measures should be taken to manage it.

So far, the WHO has not recommended trade or travel restrictions, but a panel of independent experts could do so or make other recommendations to limit spread.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Are we doing enough for the mental health of healthcare workers?

The number of coronavirus patients has been increasing over the past few days in Nepal. In the current scenario, it seems like the numbers would further increase in the coming days. Given that healthcare workers and frontline staff are the first responders to manage the ongoing pandemic with limited Read More...

Italy's Serie A gets green light for June 20 restart

Sports minister Spadafora says top-flight soccer can resume Italian Cup matches could be staged before league restarts Serie A will be fourth of Europe's top five leagues to return Juventus hold one point lead over Lazio with 12 games left ROME: Italy's top-flight Serie A soccer le Read More...

English Premier League announces June 17 restart

League to resume season subject to safety requirements Starts with Villa v Sheffield Utd and Man City v Arsenal Full fixture list scheduled for weekend of June 19-21 All of the remaining 92 fixtures to be broadcast live MANCHESTER, ENGLAND: The Premier League season will restart Read More...

UN, AI demand impartial probe into Rukum incident

Kathmandu, May 28 The attention of United Nations in Nepal has been drawn to the incident in Rukum (west), where five Dalit youths lost their lives and two went missing when the Dalit youths were chased by a group of villagers. The Dalit youths had gone to the village to help their friend marry a Read More...

‘Nepali Congress will support new map of Nepal’

Kathmandu, May 28 Nepali Congress Spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma said at a press conference today that his party would stand in favour of the newly issued country’s map when the issue would come up in the Parliament but the party had reserved the right to take an organisational decision on Read More...

SC rules lockdown time as zero period  

Kathmandu, May 28   The Supreme Court today ruled that the period between March 22 and the time when the lockdown would end should be considered zero period for those whose deadline for filing or contesting cases or joining court proceedings had lapsed.   The grand Full bench of the apex Read More...

Zuckerberg distances Facebook from Twitter in Trump fight

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg took pains to distance his company from Twitter and its fight with US President Donald Trump on Thursday, as the White House moved to scrap a law protecting social media companies. Republican Trump, who accuses social media firms of b Read More...

Budget size reduced by 3.8pc to Rs 1.47 trillion

Due priority given to health, employment generation and relief for crisis-hit businesses Khatiwada sets 7pc growth target for next fiscal Kathmandu, May 28 Amid uncertainties due to the spread of COVID-19 in the country, Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada today unveiled a federal budget Read More...