With six recorded deaths and 9 of the 217 critically confirmed infected patients, China has ensured that the new coronavirus that is already known as «Wuhan pneumonia» can be transmitted between human You.
The corroboration has been done by Zhong Nanshan, the leader of the expert team of China’s National Health Commission, who stated that two of the 14 confirmed cases in the southern province of Guangzhou occurred in this way.
So far, there were suspicions of this possible transmission by human contact, but the assumptions about the origin pointed to a seafood and fish market in the city of Wuhan, in the east-central part of the country, capital of Hubei Province and about 11 million Inhabitants.
In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) itself indicated on Monday through its Twitter account that «an animal source is likely to be the primary source of this outbreak again coronavirus.»
Increase in the use of masks
Hence, among the prevention measures that both WHO and the local press are disseminating in recent days highlight the avoidance of contact with animals or use protection for it, as well as the desirability of washing hands, avoiding markets and crowds , and the use of masks.
In Beijing, in fact, today you see more masks than usual on the street, even though it is not a day especially polluted by local standards.
In two of the three stores of basic consumer goods visited by Efe, the masks had been sold out, and in the other only three packs of three units remained each.
On the Social Network Weibo, a Chinese equivalent to Twitter, the topics that record the most interactions remain, as yesterday, those related to Wuhan pneumonia and measures to prevent it.
Increased prevention measures
This is the case, and on the eve of The Chinese New Year – in which tens of millions of citizens travel to their places of origin – the Council of State (the Chinese Executive) has put in place a series of measures, especially aimed at travellers and the city that has been the epice outbreak ntro: Wuhan.
There, a number of hospitals and clinics have been designated that will specifically treat patients with symptoms of the disease: fever and fatigue, accompanied by a dry cough and, in many cases, dyspnoea (difficulty breathing).
In addition, the city will close the markets suspected of being related to the outbreak, and control of the animals will be increased.
The State Council also decided that passengers should be subjected to temperature control at airports, ports, bus and train stations, a measure also taken by Hong Kong, which added the obligation to fill out a form with information relative to the health of the traveller.
Emphasis was also placed on the need for early diagnosis and medical isolation to prevent contagion and provide appropriate treatment.
Likely increase in cases, but feasible control
For the chief epidemiologist at china’s Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Zeng Guang, the constant emergence of new cases indicates that the situation is at an early stage, and considered that «the outbreak of the new coronavirus can be reversed if action is taken now,» in statements collected by the state news agency Xinhua.
Zhong was also optimistic about the control of the virus and felt that this time an epidemic such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) – which in 2003 resulted in 646 deaths (813 globally) – will not be ruled out, although it did not rule out an increase in contagion during the Chinese New Year.
At the moment, the latest figures released by Chinese health authorities date from 18.00 local time (10.00 GMT) on Monday, when it had confirmed 217 cases: 198 in Wuhan, 14 in the southern province of Guangzhou and 5 in Beijing.
Outside China, at least two cases of patients infected in Thailand, one in Japan and one in South Korea, have been confirmed.
That’s why Australia, the United States and several Asian countries have put in place measures to control passengers from the Asian country such as measuring body temperature in search of possible fever, one of the first symptoms of Wuhan pneumonia.
Meanwhile, and to avoid major ills, WHO has convened an expert meeting tomorrow, 22 January, to determine whether the current coronavirus outbreak in China constitutes an international emergency.