Health Desk- 22 Jan, 2020: Asian countries on Tuesday ramped up measures to block the spread of a new virus as the death toll in China rose to six and the number of cases jumped to almost 300, raising concerns in the middle of a major holiday travel rush, reports AFP.
Nations across the Asia-Pacific region stepped up checks of passengers at airports to detect the SARS-like coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Fears of a bigger outbreak rose after a prominent expert from China’s National Health Commission confirmed late Monday that the virus can be passed between people.
But the World Health Organization (WHO), which was concluding a fact-finding mission in Wuhan, was still being cautious, saying at a briefing in Geneva that “not enough is known to draw definitive conclusions about how it is transmitted”.
Spokesman Tarik Jasarevic warned though that “more cases should be expected” both in China and in other countries.
Almost 80 new cases have been confirmed, bringing the total number of people hit by the virus in China to 291, with the vast majority in Hubei, the province where Wuhan lies, according to the National Health Commission (NHC).