Taiwan braces for SARS-like virus; 2 cases confirmed in Beijing

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) speaks at a press conference on Jan. 19, 2020. (CNA)
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) speaks at a press conference on Jan. 19, 2020. (CNA)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 衛生福利部疾病管制署) has warned visitors who plan to visit Wuhan City or the vicinity of it to avoid contact with wild animals, patients with respiratory disease symptoms, and traditional markets and hospitals.

SARS-like Virus Outbreak

China reported a terrifying increase of 136 cases of the novel SARS-like virus in Wuhan on Monday, in addition to two confirmed cases in Beijing, one in Shenzhen as the outbreak continues to grow.

The first confirmed case of this new coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, was detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has now spread beyond the country. As of press time, confirmed cases have been reported in Thailand, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

In a statement issued in the early hours of Monday, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission (武漢市衛生健康委員會) reported that as of 10 p.m. on Sunday, there had been an accumulated 198 cases reported in the city, among them 170 are under quarantine in local hospitals, of which over 40 cases were reported “severe.” Three deaths have been reported so far.

WHO Proposes Studies

The World Health Organization (WHO) tweeted on Monday that “an animal source seems the most likely primary source” with “some limited human-to-human transmission occurring between close contacts”.

The dramatic spike of cases comes ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays when millions of Chinese are set to move around the country via public transportation, sparking fears that intensified travels could contribute to the spread of the disease.

WHO is “proposing studies on the virus that can be done in China and elsewhere to better understand transmission, risk factors, and where the virus is,” the organization tweeted on Monday, adding that “these studies take time and resources.”

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