Coronavirus: NSW Health Confirms Four Cases 'Under Investigation'

Medical staff transfer a patient of a highly suspected case of a new coronavirus at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong, China January 22, 2020. Picture taken January 22, 2020. cnsphoto via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CHINA OUT. (Photo: Stringer . / Reuters)

NSW Health has confirmed it is investigating four potential cases of the deadly coronavirus in New South Wales hospitals. 

“We will not be disclosing the hospital locations of patients under investigation for privacy reasons,” a NSW Health spokesperson said on Friday. 

“We will update the public immediately of any confirmed cases and need to disclose a person’s movements.” 

Queensland Health has tested two people for the virus, SBS reports. 

Australia began screening passengers arriving from the Chinese city of Wuhan on Tuesday in a bid to stop the spread of a new mystery virus, although authorities warned that an outbreak would be hard to prevent.

 

China put millions of people on lock down on Thursday in two cities at the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak that has killed 17 people and infected more than 630, as authorities around the world worked to prevent a global pandemic.

Health officials fear the transmission rate will accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel at home and abroad during week-long holidays for the Lunar New Year, which begins on Saturday.

 

The previously unknown virus strain is believed to have emerged late last year from illegally traded wildlife at an animal market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Most transport in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, was suspended on Thursday and people were told not to leave. Hours later, neighbouring Huanggang, a city of about 7 million people, announced a similar lockdown.

“The lockdown of 11 million people is unprecedented in public health history,” Gauden Galea, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) representative in Beijing, said.

Other cities were also taking steps to restrict movement and contact.

 

Nearby Ezhou shut train stations. China’s Education Ministry said schools should not hold large events or exams. The capital canceled major public events, including two Lunar New Year temple fairs, the state-run Beijing News said.

Airports worldwide were screening passengers arriving from China. Hong Kong, which has two confirmed cases, is turning two holiday camps into quarantine stations as a precaution. Taiwan has banned anyone from Wuhan from going to the island.

Yawen Chen and Se Young Lee contributed to this report. 

 

 

 

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