Many countries are stepping up measures to prevent the2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that have infected over 400people, mostly in China.
Staff of the Taiwan Centre for Disease Control screen body temperature of passengers
on a flight from Wuhan city of China at Taoyuan International Airport on January 13 -
The concern about the outbreak of a large epidemic hasincreased after an expert of the Chinese National Health Commission confirmedthe human-to-human transmission of this virus.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is stillinvestigating this disease, and it is set to have an urgent meeting on January22 to consider the declaration of a global health alert related to the disease.
So far, Thailand, Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK), the USand Taiwan (China) have reported nCoV infections.
The Indonesian Ministry of Health has appealed to thecountry’s people keen on travelling to the RoK and Japan to exercise cautionfollowing some nCoV cases reported in the two countries.
The Indonesian Government is augmenting efforts to preventthe entry of the nCoV. It has increased health quarantine and installed thermalscanners at 135 entry points.
Meanwhile, the RoK’s Ministry of Health and Welfare isinvestigating the persons having contact with people infected with nCoV, thevirus that has caused a strange pneumonia in Wuhan city of China.
T’way Air of the RoK decided to delay flights on a new routeto Wuhan because of concern over the virus spread. This country’s healthauthority has also strengthened screening measures for travellers from Wuhan atairports.
Besides, airports in Russia are also tightening thequarantine of passengers from China to detect nCoV-infected cases.
On January 22, the Democratic People’s Republic of Koreabanned foreign tourists from the neighbouring China from entering this countryfor fear of the virus.
The nCoV was first discovered in Wuhan city in late December2019.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness inthe upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tract of humans and some animals.They can spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions ofpatients.
In humans, coronaviruses cause illnesses in winter and earlyspring, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases like Middle EastRespiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome(SARS-CoV). However, those strains are not the causes of the strange pneumoniain Wuhan.
China warned on January 22 that the nCoV may spread furtherthrough mutation. It also confirmed 440 cases of pneumonia caused by the 2019-nCoV,including nine deaths, by the end of January 21.