One dead from novel coronavirus

January 11, 2020

According to the National Health Commission (NHC), one person has died among the 41 patients diagnosed with having the novel coronavirus infection, the Centre for Health Protection said today.


The centre received notification from the commission this morning on the latest information concerning the cluster of pneumonia cases detected in Wuhan.


It said after the preliminary determination that the pathogen of viral pneumonia with unknown cause is a novel coronavirus, national and provincial expert groups immediately revised and improved the protocols on diagnosis, treatment and surveillance of the viral pneumonia.


The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission has arranged the samples of existing patients to be tested for nucleic acid of the pathogen, and the expert groups have made overall assessments on the patients hospitalised for observation and treatment, taking into consideration clinical picture findings, epidemiological information and laboratory test results, etc.


As of January 10, a total of 41 patients have been diagnosed with having the novel coronavirus infection. Among them, two patients were discharged, seven are in serious condition and one died, while the remaining patients are in stable condition. No new cases have been seen since January 3.


A total of 739 close contacts have been identified and 419 of them are healthcare workers. All have been put under medical surveillance and no related cases have been detected so far.


The Mainland's investigation has neither identified any infection of healthcare workers nor definite evidence of human-to-human transmission.


According to information from the NHC, epidemiological investigations revealed that the patients are mainly business operators at Hua Nan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, which has been closed since January 1, the centre added.


In Hong Kong, the centre’s Port Health Division has strengthened port health measures and enhanced temperature screening of travellers with increased frequency of random checking at all boundary control points.


An additional thermal imaging system has been put in place at the Hong Kong International Airport dedicated for temperature screening of travellers from flights arriving from Wuhan.


Moreover, additional manpower has been assigned to enhance temperature screening of inbound travellers when the daily two high speed trains that stop at Wuhan arrive in Hong Kong.


Fever patients with acute respiratory symptoms who had visited Wuhan within 14 days prior to the onset of the illness will be immediately referred to public hospitals for isolation, treatment and follow-up.


The division has advised the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, the Airport Authority and relevant airlines to enhance cleaning and disinfection measures of the high speed trains and planes from Wuhan as well as the cleaning of West Kowloon Station of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and Airport Terminal Building.


It also adopted various ways to enhance dissemination of health messages to travellers.


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