Authorities in the central city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, have confirmed the fourth death resulting from the virus in an 89-year-old man, surnamed Chen, who started showing symptoms on January 13 before being hospitalized on January 18.
Nearly 200 cases of the virus have so far been reported in Wuhan. Those who traveled out of the city have also been hospitalized in Beijing, Guangzhou, South Korea, Thailand, and Japan. Australia is now also holding in isolation a man with suspected symptoms.
— SBS News (@SBSNews) January 21, 2020
Also on Tuesday, health officials in Shanghai confirmed the city’s second case of the virus. The 35-year-old man in question arrived from Wuhan on January 11 and went to the hospital on January 16 after experiencing fever symptoms.
The Shangai Health Commission also added that four other suspected cases are currently being held under observation.
While the outbreak may have begun last month in Wuhan, it’s only this week that infrared thermometers have been installed at the city’s airport, train stations, and bus stations with those showing signs of a fever not being allowed to leave.
China confirmed on Monday that the virus can be spread through human-to-human contact, revealing that 15 medical workers in Wuhan have become infected after treating patients with the virus.
This news comes as the country is gearing up for the height of the world’s largest annual human migration later this week as hundreds of millions of people travel back home to spend the Chinese New Year with their families.
Chinese authorities have predicted that cases will increase during the holiday but have expressed their confidence that the virus can be contained and the catastrophe that was the handling of the SARS epidemic in 2002/2003 will not be repeated.