Thailand has announced a second case of the new Chinese coronavirus that has killed two people.
The Chinese woman, 74, had been quarantined since her arrival on Monday and the virus was detected with tests, authorities said.
She was from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where 41 cases of ‘unexplained pneumonia’ have been linked to the new type of coronavirus.
Two patients have died, the second of which was announced yesterday. Both patients were male and in their 60s.
Thais have been urged to remain calm as the country ramped up checks of Chinese tourists ahead of the Lunar New Year’s holidays.
Japan reported its first case of the infection on Thursday after a Japanese man returned from visiting Wuhan.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the virus could spread and reportedly warned hospitals worldwide to prepare.
Thailand has announced a second case of Chinese coronavirus that has killed two people. Pictured, Bangkok airport staff performing thermal scans on a traveller
The Chinese woman, 74, was from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where 41 cases of ‘unexplained pneumonia’ have been linked to the new type of coronavirus
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause infections ranging from the common cold to the deadly SARS, which killed hundreds of people in China and Hong Kong in the early 2000s.
The new coronavirus, which causes cold-like symptoms including a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and a fever, has never been seen before and has not yet been named.
The WHO has said ‘much remains to be understood’ about the coronavirus which has been described as ‘novel’.
Forty-one cases have been contained in the Chinese city of Wuhan – home to 11million people – since December and dozens more have been hospitalised as suspected patients.
Among the 41 confirmed cases, 12 people have recovered and been discharged, five people are serious and under treatment, two people have died and the rest are in stable condition.
The 74-year-old tourist was intercepted at Thailand’s biggest airport Suvarnabhumi on January 13 with symptoms of lung infection, the country’s public health ministry.
It is hoped she will return home soon after being treated in the same hospital, east of Bangkok, as a Chinese woman who was diagnosed with the virus after entering the country last week.
The 61-year-old was the first case of the coronavirus to be detected outside of China, raising fears the virus was spreading borders.
A statement from the country’s public health ministry said: ‘People don’t have to panic as there is no spread of the virus in Thailand.’
Monitoring at four airports that have daily flights from Wuhan – Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueng, Chiang Mai and Phuket – has been increased, The Public Health Ministry added.
Some 13,624 passengers across the airports have been scanned with thermal checkers since January 3.
It comes just days before Lunar New Year holidays next week, when nearly a million Chinese visitors are expected to arrive.
Yesterday, Japan’s health ministry announced its first case, a man who had been hospitalised with pneumonia symptoms after travelling to Wuhan earlier this month.
THE NEW CORONAVIRUS IN CHINA TIMELINE
December 31 2019: The WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. Around 44 suspected cases were reported in the month of December.
January 1 2020: A seafood market was closed for environmental sanitation and disinfection after being closely linked with the patients.
January 5 2020: Doctors ruled out severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) as being the cause of the virus, as well as bird flu, Middle East respiratory syndrome and adenovirus. Meanwhile, Hong Kong reported
January 9 2020: A preliminary investigation identified the respiratory disease as a new type of coronavirus, Chinese state media reported.
Officials at Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported the outbreak’s first death on January 9, a 61-year-old man.
January 13 2020: A Chinese woman in Thailand was the first confirmed case of the mystery virus outside of China. The 61-year-old was quarantined on January 8, but has since returned home in a stable condition after having treatment, the Thai Health Ministry said.
January 14 2020: The WHO told hospitals around the globe to prepare, in the ‘possible’ event of the infection spreading.
It said there is some ‘limited’ human-to-human transmission of the virus. Two days previously, the UN agency said there was ‘no clear evidence of human to human transmission’.
January 16 2020: A man in Tokyo is confirmed to have tested positive for the disease after travelling to the Chinese city of Wuhan.
A second death, a 69-year-old man, was reported by officials at Wuhan Municipal Health Commission. He died in the early hours of January 15 at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan city having first been admitted to hospital on December 31.
January 17 2020: Thailand announces it has detected a second case. The 74-year-old woman had been quarantined since her arrival on Monday. She lived in Wuhan.