Dubai To Screen All Passengers From China Amid Virus Outbreak

Henrietta Strickland
January 24, 2020

Dozens of people have died and hundreds more have been infected with a new strain of a virus that stemmed from China.

Meanwhile, one man was treated in Belfast for symptoms associated with coronavirus.

In its advice to the public, the PHA said: "Individuals should seek medical attention if they develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of visiting Wuhan, either in China or on their return to the UK".

A Downing Street spokesman said the Prime Minister Boris Johnson was being kept updated and the measures were "purely precautionary and nobody has tested positive".

One case has been reported in America - in Washington state - and the CDC said passengers from China will be screened at several US airports. By the next month, the World Health Organization had issued a global alert about a deadly unknown virus with respect to Hong Kong, and a travel advisory for Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, and China.

In a statement to the Commons on Thursday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said while "there is an increased likelihood that cases may arise in this country, we are well prepared and well equipped to deal with them".

He added: "The UK is one of the first countries to have developed a world-leading test for the new coronavirus".

Now, the fallout from its lockdown to contain the spread of a new SARS-like virus is set to be amplified if logistics networks and the auto industry are interrupted across the city of about 11 million people.

A range of Lunar New Year festivities have been cancelled, while temporary closures of Beijing's Forbidden City, Shanghai's Disneyland and a section of the Great Wall were announced to prevent the disease from spreading further.

Japan also sent medical teams to Vietnam and China to help stem the spread of the virus.

Other cases have been reported in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, the USA and Vietnam. Concerns were expressed that passengers travelling from the infected zone to the United Kingdom had not been screened.

Those people are thought to have linked the new outbreak to SARS - the disease which infected 8,000 people and killed 774 people and which the Chinese government initially tried to cover up.

Wuhan is building a purpose-built hospital around a holiday complex by a lake on the outskirts of the city.

Passengers have their body temperature checked as they arrive at a railway station in Yingtan City, Jiangxi province.

The extreme measures come a day after a World Health Organization committee met to decide whether to declare the virus a "public health emergency of worldwide concern".

Health authorities in New South Wales are investigating four possible cases of the virus, while two people are being tested in Brisbane.

"And that is essential because you can not deal with a potential pandemic in one country alone".

What do we know about the virus?

The hospital, which is due to open next week, is similar to those established in Beijing in 2003, when the city faced a Sars outbreak that killed almost 800 people and reached nearly 30 countries.

China said it had identified five deaths among 305 cases, mostly in Guangdong province, which borders Hong Kong. Authorities were also examining 1,072 suspected cases.

Authorities have said it originated in a seafood market that "conducted illegal transactions of wild animals".

In Zhijiang city, all public venues have been shut down except hospitals, supermarkets, farmers' markets, gas stations and drug stores.

Mr Hancock said: "The symptoms of coronavirus do not usually appear until five to seven days, and sometimes up to 14 days".

Three separate research teams from the U.S. and Australia are to start work on developing potential vaccines against the new coronavirus.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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