VIDEO: China confirms first case of successful treatment for Coronavirus - GulfToday

VIDEO: China confirms first case of successful treatment for Coronavirus


A girl (C), wearing a face mask, holds the finger of her mom and a lantern as they travel back home for the Lunar New Year holidays, at Beijing West Railway Station on Friday. AFP

Chinese authorities have announced the first cured patient discharged from Shanghai, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The Shanghai Municipal Health Commission has claimed that the first patient since the beginning of the deadly outbreak has been cured and discharged from hospital.

Chinese doctors have been reported to indicate that trial runs with an HIV wonder drug have "somewhat successfully" stopped the spread of the disease to cells.

UAE Minister of Health Abdul Rahman Bin Mohammed Al Owais has stressed that no case of Coronavirus infection was found in the UAE and that all necessary precautions have been taken to protect the country from the disease.

The Minister made the statement during a meeting of the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management team, which he chaired.

Concerned officials from several authorities attended the meeting, which discussed in detail the steps taken to ensure that the UAE remained free from the attack of the virus and the resultant respiratory illness.

The meeting also stressed the importance of full preparedness on the part of all the concerned entities to deal with any eventuality concerning the newly identified Coronavirus.

The UAE has raised the level of alertness in the country in order to deal with any development proactively and effectively at the border crossings, following a close assessment of the domestic and external situation, as well as in the wake of the preventive steps taken by China.

The incidence of the disease in a few other countries as per reports from the World Health Organisation was also taken into account while raising the level of alertness. The public sector and private sector health entities in the country have been sufficiently briefed on the ways to anticipate and preempt the disease as well as to prevent it from spreading in case of any incidence.

Al Owais has emphasised on the need to ascertain news reports about the disease from reliable and official sources and avoid giving heed to rumours.

He also stressed the need for disseminating the guidelines to the public in order for them to follow them for their own protection. The guidelines will be disseminated through official social media channels and the national media with a view to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all the UAE nationals and residents.

56 million affected in China

Some 56 million people are now affected by transport bans around the epicentre of China's virus outbreak as five more cities announced travel restrictions on Saturday to contain the disease.

The rules include closing public transport links and access to highways in the cities, local authorities said. A total of 18 cities now have some sort of travel restrictions in central Hubei province.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi will screen passengers arriving on direct flights from China, as health authorities around the world scramble to prevent a global pandemic.

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The death toll from China's coronavirus outbreak jumped on Saturday to 41 from 26 a day earlier as the Lunar New Year got off to a gloomy start, with authorities curbing travel and cancelling public gatherings.

More than 1,300 people have been infected globally with a virus traced to a seafood market in the central city of Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife. Health authorities around the world are scrambling to prevent a pandemic.

The virus that emerged in the central city of Wuhan took eight more lives, the government said in its latest update, as the number of confirmed cases also leapt to 830.

A total of 10 cities in China's central Hubei province have suspended some public transportation over the coronavirus outbreak, the Hubei Daily reported on Friday.

Buses in cities of Chibi, Xiantao, Zhijiang, Qianjiang, Xianning, Huangshi and Enshi have suspended services.

In Zhijiang city, all public venues have been shut down except hospitals, supermarkets, farmers' market, gas stations and drug stores, it said.

Passengers wear masks to prevent an outbreak of a new coronavirus. Reuters

Dubai International is the world's third busiest airport and a major international transit hub. It is the base of major airline Emirates.

Thousands of Chinese travellers are expected to pass through Dubai airport for the Lunar New Year weekend.

The United States, Australia, Britain and several other countries have introduced screening measures at major airports.

Travellers pass through a screening checkpoint at Wuhan airport in Wuhan, China. File photo/AP

A flight from the city is scheduled to arrive in Dubai on Sunday, flight booking websites showed.

The new virus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed hundreds of people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

The WHO said China was in a state of emergency, but it stopped short of making a declaration that would have prompted greater international cooperation, including possible trade and travel restrictions.

An official uses an infrared thermometer on a traveller at a screening checkpoint at Wuhan airport. AP

But Chinese authorities were taking no chances against a virus that has spread nationwide and to several other countries.

The normally bustling metropolis of Wuhan, a major industrial and transport hub in the centre of the country, slid deeper into surreal isolation as China tightened a transport cordon around it and nearby cities.

With hundreds millions of people travelling across the country this week for the Lunar New Year holiday, the government has halted all travel out of the city, municipal public transport has been suspended, and residents have been ordered not to leave home.

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Very few flights were coming into Wuhan, too, further isolating the city from the rest of the world.

Like SARS, it can be passed among people through the respiratory tract.

The first case of the new virus was confirmed on December 31, and it has since been detected in Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States.

People wearing face masks queue at the West Kowloon rail station in Hong Kong. Philip Fong/AFP

The World Health Organization on Wednesday delayed a decision on whether to declare a global health emergency — a rare instrument used only for the worst outbreaks.

The emergency committee will meet again on Thursday, after its chair, Didier Houssin, said the experts were split over declaring a public health emergency.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he needed "more information" but he also praised China's "very, very strong measures" to contain the outbreak.

"By having a strong action not only will they control the outbreak in their country but they will also minimise the chances of this outbreak spreading internationally," Tedros said when asked about Wuhan's transport shutdown.

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