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Preliminary test shows 2 more patients positive for novel coronavirus in Hong Kong

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-01-25 07:47

HONG KONG -- Two more patients were preliminarily tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Hong Kong, an official said on Friday, following two cases confirmed on Thursday after the virus gene sequencing test.

The two women, both 62, were under isolation in Tuen Mun Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital respectively, Wong Ka-hing, controller of the Center for Health Protection (CHP) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, said at a press conference.

Wong added that further test is underway for the two, who presented fever and other respiratory symptoms after visiting Wuhan during the past 14 days.

Hong Kong confirmed two cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia on Thursday for the first time after the infectious disease broke out in central China's Wuhan city.

In the face of the situation, the HKSAR has announced a series of measures, including a health declaration form system expanded to railway passengers and cancellation of two festive events.

The CHP had received reports of a total of 176 suspected cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia as of Thursday noon. Of all, 109 reported cases have been ruled out and discharged from the hospital. As of Friday noon, public hospitals had admitted 70 patients in the past 24 hours who met the reporting criteria of severe respiratory disease associated with a novel infectious agent.

Wong said the CHP is also tracking close contacts of the second confirmed case in Japan who transferred the flight in Hong Kong.

Efforts will continue to prevent an outbreak in Hong Kong, such as body temperature monitoring in ports of entry and control measures in public hospitals. The CHP has set up a special page about the new disease on its website and started to update related information every day.

Chinese health authorities announced Friday that 830 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus had been reported in 29 provincial-level regions in the country by the end of Thursday.

To curb the spread of the epidemic, China on Thursday morning locked down central China's Wuhan city, the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak, and is mobilizing medical staff and resources nationwide to aid the city and control the epidemic.

The first group of 135 medical workers from hospitals in Shanghai is scheduled to fly to Wuhan on Friday night. Shanghai will dispatch 405 medical workers in three groups to Wuhan. An aid team consisting of 205 experienced doctors and nurses from nine hospitals in Guangdong Province has been set up and stands ready to leave for Wuhan.

Doctors, nurses and experts from hospitals in other places such as Zhejiang and Sichuan have been selected or volunteered to sign up for the task.

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