Published: Fri, January 24, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Chances of Canadian virus outbreak low, says official, as China widens lockdown

Chances of Canadian virus outbreak low, says official, as China widens lockdown

Media captionWhat's life like in quarantined Wuhan?

Chinese authorities have expanded lockdowns and closed tourist attractions ahead of the Lunar New Year to curb a viral outbreak that has spread to almost all regions of the country.

Nearly 30 million people and 10 cities in China are now facing travel restrictions.

Dr. George Diaz, Section Chief of Infectious Diseases at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, gives an update on the first patient in the United States to contract the Wuhan coronavirus.

Neighbouring Huanggang, a city of about 7 million people, has announced similar measures. The woman is in stable condition and has been isolated in a hospital, Layden said.

The project will "solve the shortage of existing medical resources" and would be "built fast [and] not cost much. because it will be prefabricated buildings", the outlet said.

What restrictions are in place in Hubei?

Train stations, the airport and subways were closed; police checked incoming vehicles but did not entirely close off roads.

Residents have been advised not to leave, and roadblocks have been reported.

And the rest of China?

"We've already tested four individuals who were suspect cases - all four came back negative", she said.

The 80-year-old victim died in the province of Hebei, near Beijing, after visiting relatives in Wuhan for more than two months, according to local reports.

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Another death was later confirmed in north-east Heilongjiang province, more than 2,000km (1,200 miles) from Wuhan.

Speaking at a news conference in Geneva on Thursday, the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that while WHO's assessment is that the outbreak represents a "high risk" regionally and globally, it is "too early" to declare it an worldwide health concern.

But 15 of the 17 were over 60, and more than half suffered from other chronic diseases including Parkinson's and diabetes.

The previously unknown virus, which has no cure and can spread through respiratory transmission, has created alarm because there are a number of unknowns.

A second death outside the disease epicenter was reported in Suihua, a city in northern China's Heilongjiang Province.

The new virus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed hundreds across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. There are two crucial outstanding questions - who is infectious and when are they infectious.

Yes, that is less risky than Sars, but if those hard-to-detect mild or maybe symptomless cases are contagious too, then it is much harder to contain.

He added: 'It's important that while you do make contact with us, that you keep yourself away from too many other people, because of course if you have been infected, it's important that we prevent spread. Is it before symptoms appear, or only after severe symptoms emerge? It has spread to 10 other countries.

Outside of China, Thailand has recorded the most cases of the outbreak so far, with a fifth case confirmed on Friday.

Scottish officials yesterday confirmed they were testing five cases in Edinburgh and Glasgow "as a precaution".

Dr Chant confirmed none of the cases in NSW are from that flight.

'All our Global Positioning System and hospitals across the country have had a letter from the Chief Medical Officer and the medical director at NHS England and us at Public Health England, so that if somebody does present and they are anxious, if they do meet our criteria, that they will be put somewhere where they won't infect other people while they're assessed and while we can get them tested'.

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