Many countries are stepping up measures to prevent the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that have infected over 400 people, mostly in China.
The concern about the outbreak of a largeepidemic has increased after an expert of the Chinese National HealthCommission confirmed the human-to-human transmission of this virus.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is stillinvestigating this disease, and it is set to have an urgent meeting on January22 to consider the declaration of a global health alert related to the disease.
So far, Thailand, Japan, the Republic of Korea(RoK), the US and Taiwan (China) have reported nCoV infections.
The Indonesian Ministry of Health has appealedto the country’s people keen on travelling to the RoK and Japan to exercisecaution following some nCoV cases reported in the two countries.
The Indonesian Government is augmenting effortsto prevent the entry of the nCoV. It has increased health quarantine andinstalled thermal scanners at 135 entry points.
Meanwhile, the RoK’s Ministry of Health andWelfare is investigating the persons having contact with people infected withnCoV, the virus that has caused a strange pneumonia in Wuhan city of China.
T’way Air of the RoK decided to delay flights ona new route to Wuhan because of concern over the virus spread. This country’shealth authority has also strengthened screening measures for travellers fromWuhan at airports.
Besides, airports in Russia are also tightening thequarantine of passengers from China to detect nCoV-infected cases.
On January 22, the Democratic People’s Republicof Korea banned foreign tourists from the neighbouring China from entering thiscountry for fear of the virus.
The nCoV was first discovered in Wuhan city inlate December 2019.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that causeillness in the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tract of humans and someanimals. They can spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions ofpatients.
In humans, coronaviruses cause illnesses inwinter and early spring, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseaseslike Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute RespiratorySyndrome (SARS-CoV). However, those strains are not the causes of the strangepneumonia in Wuhan.
China warned on January 22 that the nCoV mayspread further through mutation. It also confirmed 440 cases of pneumoniacaused by the 2019-nCoV, including nine deaths, by the end of January 21./.VNA