A new virus from the same family as SARS that sparked a global alert in September last year has been found in another patient in Britain, health officials said on Monday.
The latest case of infection with the new virus known as a coronavirus brings the total number confirmed globally to 10, of whom five have died.
The WHO said the latest infection was “a sporadic case” and did not alter the WHO’s risk assessment. However, it added that the new case “does indicate that the virus is persistent.”
The British patient, who recently had traveled to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, is receiving intensive care treatment in hospital in Manchester, England.
The new virus, which the WHO refers to as novel coronavirus or NCoV, shares some of the symptoms of SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome — a coronavirus which emerged in China in 2002 and killed about a 10th of the 8,000 people it infected worldwide.
Symptoms include severe respiratory illness, fever, coughing and breathing difficulties.
The WHO said the new patient, who is a UK resident, developed symptoms on Jan. 26. A series of laboratory tests of respiratory specimens showed the patient had contracted both an H1N1 swine flu infection and a confirmed NCoV infection.
NCoV was identified when the WHO issued an international alert in September last year saying a virus previously unknown in humans had infected a Qatari man who had recently been in Saudi Arabia.
Britain’s Health Protection Agency said among the 10 laboratory confirmed cases to date, five had been in Saudi Arabia, two were in Jordan, two were in Britain and one was in Germany in a patient from Qatar who had since been discharged from medical care.
HELPING HAND: Taiwan is ready to help other nations and will not sit idly by while the global fight against the coronavirus continues, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan, as a responsible member of the international community, is to offer humanitarian assistance to nations hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic by sending them masks and medicine, as well as sharing with them an electronic system that the government has been using to track down people that need to be quarantined, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. With the nation’s daily production having reached 13 million masks and soon to reach 15 million, the government is to donate 10 million masks to medical personnel in nations most severely affected by the coronavirus, Tsai said at the Presidential Office in Taipei. The
NINE NEW CASES: The CECC said two locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, and seven imported ones – five women and two men – brought the nation’s total to 348 People who refuse to wear a mask on public transportation after being asked to do so would face a NT$3,000 to NT$15,000 fine, effective immediately, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday after announcing nine additional COVID-19 cases. In a move to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications on Tuesday announced that people must wear masks on trains and intercity buses, while Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, on Tuesday said that people should wear them when they cannot maintain a social distance of 1.5m indoors. Chen yesterday
TRILLION PROPOSED: The premier said the goal was to keep ‘businesses solvent, the unemployment rate down, transportation and logistics going, and cash flowing’ The Executive Yuan yesterday announced an expanded economic stimulus package totaling NT$1.05 trillion (US$34.64 billion), including NT$81.6 billion in subsidies for employers to prevent a spike in unemployment. The increased budget comprises a special budget of NT$210 billion, up from the NT$60 billion already passed by the Legislative Yuan; NT$140 billion — up from NT$40 billion — to be appropriated from the general budget; and NT$700 billion in loans to industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics Minister Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民) told a news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei. The NT$150 billion increase in the
The Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday released a set of revised criteria for reporting suspected COVID-19 cases, while also announcing its guidelines for disclosing patients’ personal information. The center said that its advisory specialist panel revised the definition for “severe pneumonia with novel pathogens” — COVID-19 infection — by expanding the criteria needed to report suspected cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that physicians should report people for testing if they meet one of three clinical conditions: They have a fever, acute respiratory infection, or a lack of smell or taste; there is a