Tuesday 25 February 2020

China reports more novel coronavirus cases; 56 dead

Beijing, January 26, 2020

Chinese health authorities announced on Sunday that 1,975 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), including 324 in critical conditions, had been reported in the country by the end of Saturday.
During the past 24 hours, 688 new confirmed cases, 1,309 new suspected cases and 15 deaths from the disease (13 in Hubei, one in Shanghai and one in Henan) were reported, the National Health Commission was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
By Saturday, the pneumonia situation had resulted in a total of 56 deaths, while 49 people had recovered and 2,684 remained as suspected patients.
A total of 23,431 close contacts have been traced, the commission said, adding that among them, 21,556 were under medical observation while 325 others were discharged on Saturday.
In addition, 7confirmed cases had been reported in Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.
Overseas, confirmed cases were reported in Thailand (4 including 2 cured), Taiwan (3), Japan (2 including 1 cured), South Korea (2), the United States (2), Vietnam (2), Singapore (3), Malaysia (3), Nepal (1), France (3) and Australia (1). 
Of these, at least 21 had travel history to Wuhan City, China; one case in Australia had direct contact with a confirmed case from Wuhan while in China.
The World Health Organisation's (WHO) assessment of the risk has not changed since the last update: very high in China, high at the regional level and moderate at the global level, the organisation said.
WHO said it does not recommend any specific health measures for travellers. In case of symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel, the travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. 
WHO is working with its networks of researchers and other experts to coordinate global work on surveillance, epidemiology, modelling, diagnostics, clinical care and treatment, and other ways to identify, manage the disease and limit onward transmission. WHO has issued interim guidance for countries, updated to take into account the current situation.
The strategic objectives of the response are to interrupt the transmission of the virus from one person to another in China, to prevent exportation of cases from China to other countries and territories, and to prevent further transmission from exported case if they were to happen. This can be achieved through a combination of public health measures, such as rapid identification, diagnosis and management of the cases, identification and follow up of the contacts, infection prevention and
control in healthcare settings, implementation of health measures for travellers, awareness raising in the population, risk communication.
During previous outbreaks due to other coronavirus (Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)
and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)), human to human transmission occurred through droplets, contact and fomites, suggesting that the transmission mode of the 2019-nCoV can be similar. The basic principles to reduce the general risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections:
• Avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
• Frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment.
• Avoiding unprotected contact with farm or wild animals.
• People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain
distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).
• Within healthcare facilities, enhance standard infection prevention and control practices in
hospitals, especially in emergency departments. - TradeArabia News Service



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