With countries across the world battling the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Australia on January 27 confirmed its fifth case of 2019-nCoV. According to reports, the confirmed case is of a 21-year-old woman who was on board the last flight flying out of the city of Wuhan before China ordered a complete lockdown of the 'epicentre'.
While talking to a media outlet, New South Wales (NSW) chief health officer, Kerry Chant said that the woman traveled on a direct flight to Sydney from Wuhan and developed symptoms within 24 hours of reaching Australia. Chant further added that the 21-year-old went to a hospital and was immediately put into isolation.
Australia's Chief Medical Officer warned the public that there might be more confirmed cases of the deadly Coronavirus in the country. The Federal government is reportedly exploring plans to evacuate Australian citizens from the epicentre of the pandemic, Wuhan in central China. Following confirmation of four cases, Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy has said more cases of SARS-like virus were likely to be confirmed.
Hong Kong on January 25 also declared the virus as an emergency and further upgraded the Hong Kong Disease contingency plan from 'serious' to 'emergency' level. Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam while addressing a press conference further announced that the schools in the city will be suspended until February 17. According to reports, flights are being cancelled across China to try and limit the spread of the virus.
According to reports, the coronavirus originated from seafood and animal market located in Wuhan. The viral outbreak has triggered concern because of its similarity to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which claimed the lives of almost 650 people across China and Hong Kong in the year 2002-2003.
The novel coronavirus is a new strain in the large family of coronaviruses (CoV) which was previously not identified in humans. CoV causes illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).