Sick woman brags about beating border checks during coronavirus outbreak

A Chinese woman has bragged about beating airport scanners for deadly coronavirus by using a medication to mask the deadly illness.

The woman, who hasn’t been named, left Wuhan in China, where authorities are trying to contain the deadly virus, last year for France, BBC reports.

She posted photos on social media site Weibo of her dining in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Lyon.

"Finally I can have a good meal, I feel like I've been starving for two days. When you are in a gourmet city of course you have to eat Michelin [food]," she wrote.

"Just before I left, I had a low fever and cough. I was scared to death and rushed to eat [fever-reducing] medicine. I kept on checking my temperature. Luckily I managed to get it down and my exit was smooth."

The Chinese embassy in France has since found the woman and she’s undergone a medical assessment.

People wearing protective masks wait to board their train as they travel for the Lunar New Year holidays at the Beijing West Railway Station in Beijing on January 24, 2020.
People wear protective masks in Beijing as they prepare to board a train. Source: Getty Images

She’s said to be OK and won’t require further examinations.

On Sunday, NSW Health said it’s investigating a fourth possible case of coronavirus with confirmation expected on Monday.

“Of the five cases that were under investigation today, four have now been cleared of the infection,” NSW Health said.

“We will update the public immediately should this case be confirmed.”

‘90,000 people infected’

The latest figures reported Sunday morning cover the previous 24 hours and mark an increase of 15 deaths and 688 cases for a total of 1,975 infections. So far, 56 people have died.

The government also reported five cases in Hong Kong, two in Macao and three in Taiwan.

Small numbers of cases have been found in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the U.S., Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, France and Australia.

However, a Chinese nurse claims in a video 90,000 people have been diagnosed with the virus.

An aerial photo shows excavators at the construction site of a new hospital being built to treat patients from a deadly virus outbreak in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province.
Construction begins on a new hospital in Wuhan in one of many measures to fight the virus. Source: Getty Images

Speaking in Chinese, with subtitles, she calls for help.

“We don’t care what the government says,” she says.

“I will tell you through social media. Everyone, please donate masks, glasses and clothes to Wuhan.

“Please help us. Please donate disposable goggles, disposable masks and disposable clothing. Currently our resources are not enough.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping called the outbreak a grave situation, and the government stepped up efforts to restrict travel and public gatherings while rushing medical staff and supplies to Wuhan, which remains on lockdown.

Anyone traveling from Wuhan is now required to register with community health stations and quarantine themselves at home for 14 days, according to an order from the National Health Commission.

Disturbing map shows virus spread

Experts have released a disturbing map of new outbreaks of the virus.

Johns Hopkins University in the US city of Baltimore developed the map to show coronavirus’s spread in real time.

A red dot can be seen on Australia and dozens are seen across China.

Singapore reported its fourth case on Sunday.

The Health Ministry said the 36-year-old man from Wuhan did not exhibit any symptoms on his flight. He developed a cough the next day, sought treatment on January 24 and was immediately isolated.

South Korea confirmed its third case, according to Yonhap news agency.

An interactive map shows the spread of coronavirus in China and across the world.
This map shows the spread of the virus. Source: John Hopkins University

In the heart of the outbreak, where 11 million residents are already on lockdown, Wuhan banned most vehicle use, including private cars, in downtown areas starting Sunday. The city will assign 6,000 taxis to neighbourhoods to help people get around if they need to.

Wuhan plans to build a second makeshift hospital with about 1,000 beds to handle the growing number of patients. The city has said another hospital was expected to be completed February 3.

Medical workers in Wuhan have been among those infected and local media reported a doctor died on Saturday morning. The 62-year-old physician worked at the ear, nose and throat department at Hubei Xinhua Hospital. He was hospitalised on January 18 and died a week later.

Xinhua also said medical supplies are being rushed to the city, including 14,000 protective suits, 110,000 pairs of gloves and masks and goggles.

Medical staff members wearing protective clothing to help stop the spread of a deadly virus which began in the city, arrive with a patient at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan.
Medics arrive at Wuhan Red Cross Hospital with a patient on Saturday. Source: Getty Images

The National Health Commission said it is bringing in medical teams to help handle the outbreak, a day after videos circulating online showed throngs of frantic people in masks lined up for examinations and complaints that family members had been turned away at hospitals that were at capacity.

The Chinese military dispatched 450 medical staff, some with experience in past outbreaks, including SARS and Ebola, who arrived in Wuhan late Friday to help treat many patients hospitalised with viral pneumonia, Xinhua reported.

The new virus comes from a large family of what are known as coronaviruses, some causing nothing worse than a cold. It causes cold and flu-like symptoms, including cough and fever, and in more severe cases, shortness of breath. It can worsen to pneumonia, which can be fatal.

China cut off trains, planes and other links to Wuhan on Wednesday, as well as public transportation within the city, and has steadily expanded a lockdown to 16 surrounding cities with a combined population of more than 50 million — greater than that of New York, London, Paris and Moscow combined.

A general view shows one of the roads blocked by the police to restrict people leaving Wuhan in China's central Hubei.
Police block roads to keep people from leaving Wuhan. Source: Getty Images

A growing number of cities and provinces were enacting their own travel restrictions to contain the virus. The city of Shantou, almost 1,000 kilometres southeast of Wuhan, was banning bus, taxi, ferry and car-hailing services from Monday. Only those authorised would be allowed to enter the city to maintain supplies or provide services.

Shantou has reported two cases, with another 96 in the surrounding province of Guangdong.

Elsewhere, long-distance, inter-provincial bus services had been suspended, including those to and from Beijing.

The rapid increase in reported deaths and illnesses does not necessarily mean the crisis is getting worse but could reflect better monitoring and reporting of the virus. Those killed by the virus have mostly been middle-aged or elderly people, sometimes suffering from other conditions that weaken their ability to fight back.

It is not clear how lethal the new coronavirus is or even whether it is as dangerous as the ordinary flu, which kills tens of thousands of people every year in the US alone.

With The Associated Press

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