Japanese resident confirmed to have new virus from China, UAE remains unaffected

A man leaves the Wuhan Medical Treatment Centre, where a patient who died from a respiratory illness was confined. (File photo: AFP)

A man treated for pneumonia after returning from China has tested positive for the new coronavirus identified as a possible cause of an outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, according to an AP report.

The man developed a fever and coughs on January 3 while in Wuhan, returned to Japan on January 6, and was hospitalized four days later due to persistent coughs and fever, with his X-ray image showing signs of pneumonia, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said.

Tests conducted Tuesday found the same coronavirus as had been detected in other patients in the Wuhan outbreak, the ministry said.

The US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed 40 human infections in China and one exported case in Thailand, Wednesday.

An official from the UAE Ministry of Health confirmed to Al Arabiya English that there has been no reports of an outbreak of the new Chinese-origin coronavirus in the UAE.

The GCC saw 1.6 million Chinese travelers in 2018, expected to rise to 2.9 million in 2022, per Emirates News Agency (WAM) reports.

The UAE had relaxed visa processing in 2016 to enable hassle-free travel for Chinese nationals to the UAE. The countries share a mutual visa-exemption arrangement.

A spokesperson at the Immigration department of the UAE also confirmed that Chinese passport holders can freely travel to the UAE during this time.

The AP report goes on to mention that China has sought to play down speculation that it could be a reappearance of the SARS epidemic, which killed hundreds in 2002 and 2003.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause the common cold. Others found in bats, camels and other animals have evolved to cause more severe illnesses.

Common symptoms include a runny nose, headache, cough and fever. Shortness of breath, chills and body aches are associated with more dangerous kinds of coronaviruses, according to the CDC.

(With the Associated Press)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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