Domestic News

China stays vigilant after pneumonia cases increase

2020-01-21

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More Chinese cities have stepped up monitoring, prevention and control of respiratory infectious diseases after an increase in coronavirus-related pneumonia cases.

President Xi Jinping yesterday ordered resolute efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Instructing on the work related to the pneumonia situation, Xi stressed putting people’s safety and health as the top priority.

The central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the first case of novel coronavirus infection (2019-nCoV) was identified, confirmed a third death Saturday. A total of 136 new cases were reported in the city between Saturday and Sunday, local health authorities said yesterday. Among the newly infected patients, 66 are male and 70 are female. They are aged between 25 and 89, and 36 of them, including the deceased, were in severe or critical conditions.

These patients showed symptoms such as fever, cough, chest distress or dyspnea, according to Wuhan health commission.

As of 6 p.m. yesterday, 224 cases of pneumonia caused by the virus had been reported in China. Of them, 217 had been confirmed and seven remained suspected. Overseas, one case has been confirmed in Japan, two in Thailand and one in South Korea.

All three patients had traveled to Wuhan recently.

The first patient in Shenzhen is a 66 year-old male who developed symptoms such as fever and fatigue Jan. 3. Eight Beijing patients are receiving medical treatment in Daxing District. They currently have fevers but no respiratory symptoms. Forty-four people in Beijing are currently under close medical observation.

According to the WHO, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases, such as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). 2019-nCoV is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

Medical institutions across the country are paying close attention to the progression of the disease as the Spring Festival travel rush, dubbed as “the largest human migration,” is currently under way.

The National Health Commission said it has activated the nationwide daily report mechanism and supplied nucleic acid testing kits to intensify the surveillance.

It said extra attention will be paid to the epidemic situation during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.

Shanghai has increased manpower in pre-examination triage and fever clinics to enhance the monitoring, screening, diagnosis and treatment of suspected cases.

Guangdong has intensified inspection on open fairs and monitoring and testing of suspected cases, while Wuhan has improved monitoring procedures and testing speed with a new diagnosis and treatment plan.