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Hong Kong reports first 'preliminary positive' case of new virus

Health secretary Sophia Chan said the 39-year-old man was 'preliminarily positive', but a final test result would only be known on Thursday.

Published: 22nd January 2020 08:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2020 08:16 PM   |  A+A-

The coronavirus can spread person to person, though not nearly as easily as viruses such as measles or influenza.

A man who arrived in the Hong Kong from Wuhan via the cross-border high-speed railway is the first suspected case of the new corana virus in the country. (Photo | AP)

By PTI

HONG KONG: Hong Kong reported its first suspected case of the new SARS-like virus Wednesday in a man who arrived in the city from Wuhan via the cross-border high-speed railway.

Health secretary Sophia Chan said the 39-year-old man was "preliminarily positive", but a final test result would only be known on Thursday.

"We decided to announced the case (early) due to heavy public concern," Chan said.

ALSO READ | Explainer: What's a coronavirus and why is the world panicking about the Chinese outbreak?

The man and four family members had taken the high-speed railway from Wuhan to Shenzhen on Tuesday before transferring to another train that brought them to Hong Kong.

He was put in isolation in hospital after tests, but Wednesday when his relatives showed no symptoms after a night at a city hotel they were allowed to leave for the Philippines.

The coronavirus has caused alarm because of its similarity to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

The new virus has now infected at least 440 people across China, with most cases in Wuhan.

A further 1,394 people are still under medical observation.

The World Health Organisation is meeting Wednesday to determine whether to declare a rare global public health emergency over the disease, which has now been detected in the United States, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Macau.

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  • jayendran

    One Belt (border) One Road could be a route through the virus may spread as products are moved through these road. It is better to suspend One Belt (border) One Road activites for a few months.
    7 months ago reply
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