China’s Wuhan city is in grip of a new respiratory virus called Novel corona virus that has killed two people in China and sickened at least 45 persons including overseas cases with some new cases being detected in the city. The illness has been identified as a new strain of coronavirus, which is in the same family as the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Most people with the infection are believed to have contracted it through exposure to animals at a market that sells seafood and meat in Wuhan.
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that the health commissions in China have been notifying people of the latest development and China has been actively notifying the WHO and other relevant international organisations and countries of the infection cases. China will continue to stay in contact with relevant countries where cases have been detected.
Our Beijing Correspondent reports that Wuhan airport authorities have set up a temperature monitoring point at the entrance of Terminal 3 to check the temperature of all passengers entering the terminal so that travel of arrested persons may be averted.
The illness was first reported in late December in Wuhan, in central China. Fears of a more widespread outbreak arose when two cases were found in Thailand and one in Japan, apparently carried to those countries by air travelers from Wuhan. The disease has put countries across the world on ahead of a tourist inflow from china during upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year holidays starting next week. US authorities announced they would begin screening passengers from today arriving from Wuhan on direct or connecting flights at three airports: San Francisco, New York’s JFK and Los Angeles. Authorities in Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines have all stepped up screening.
It is not certain that the virus spreads from person to person. Symptoms of coronaviruses can range from fever and coughing to pneumonia with severe effects. A different coronavirus caused the SARS outbreak in China in 2003 which killed nearly 800 people and also MERS, another severe respiratory ailment that has been present in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries since 2012.