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.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to