Hong Kong quarantined a 39-year-old man on Wednesday after the city’s first preliminary positive result in a test for the new flu-like coronavirus found in an outbreak in central mainland China, Reuters reports.
The tourist from Wuhan came to Hong Kong on Tuesday via high-speed rail from Shenzhen and was detected having fever at the border, according to the report.
He is in stable condition in an isolation ward at Princess Margaret Hospital, the report said, citing Hong Kong’s health minister Sophia Chan.
“I urge citizens not to go to Hubei province, Wuhan city if not necessary,” Chan was quoted as saying in a news conference.
She said the isolated patient came to Hong Kong with four family members, who spent the night at a hotel in the Tsim Sha Tsui tourist district, before hopping on a flight to Manila earlier on Wednesday.
The patient’s family did not have any symptoms. The government is contacting train passengers who sat near him and they would be put under observation in isolation wards.
A hotline has been set up for people worried they might have contracted the virus.
Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority on Tuesday enhanced laboratory surveillance for pneumonia cases to include patients with travel history to all of mainland China, rather than just Wuhan.
Authorities have deployed temperature screening equipment at the airport and the high-speed rail station.
Air passengers are required to fill in health declaration forms. Some 500 isolation wards at public hospitals were available, with more ordinary wards to be converted if necessary.
Hong Kong was badly hit by the SARS virus in 2003 and has had many episodes of H5N1 bird flu for more than a decade. According to WHO figures, 1,755 people in Hong Kong contracted the SARS virus at the time and 299 died.
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