An official uses an infrared thermometer at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan, China, on Tuesday. AP
A man showing symptoms of a SARS-like virus after visiting China is being held in isolation at his Australian home, in the country's first suspected case of the coronavirus, health officials said Tuesday.
A Queensland Health spokesperson said man had recently returned from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, believed to be the epicentre of an outbreak of coronavirus, which has infected a total of 218 people and caused at least four deaths.
Queensland's chief medical officer Jeannette Young said he was recovering at home in the northeastern city of Brisbane, where health authorities were awaiting the results of tests to determine whether he had contracted the new virus.
News of Australia's first suspected case came as the country said it would introduce heightened medical screening for travellers arriving in Sydney from Wuhan starting Thursday.
Biosecurity and health officials will meet the flights in Sydney, handing out pamphlets in English and Chinese encouraging people who suspect they might have the disease or are suffering any symptoms to identify themselves.
There are just three direct flights each week between Wuhan and Australia, all landing in Sydney.
Australia's chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, said the screening program may also be expanded to other flights from China carrying a high proportion of passengers from Wuhan, but doing so provided no guarantees of stopping its spread into the country.
"Many people who have this may present as asymptomatic. So it's about identifying those with a high risk and making sure those who have a high risk know about it and know how to get medical attention," he told reporters in Canberra.
"There's no way of preventing this getting into the country if this becomes bigger."
However, Murphy said the risk to Australians was "relatively low" and there was no need for alarm.
The virus has now infected 62 people in Wuhan, city authorities said, with eight in a severe condition, 19 cured and discharged from hospital, and the rest remaining in isolation receiving treatment.
State broadcaster CCTV reported that Xi said "the safety of people's lives and their physical health should be given top priority", as the virus fuelled fears of a major outbreak during the Lunar New Year migration this week.
The World Health Organization (WHO) which issues alerts and advisories on outbreaks and epidemics to governments, stated in its website that “Novel Coronavirus is a new strain of the large family of respiratory viruses that can cause diseases ranging from common cold to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.”
Sheikh Mohammed tweeted on his account on Twitter, saying: “An image from the UAE’s Hope Probe,135 million km away from Mars. The probe will reach the Red Planet on February 9, 2021."
The move falls within bilateral cooperation between the UAE and the State of Israel following the signing of the Abraham Accords and aims to facilitate travel to the UAE for the time being.
Being organised by the Sharjah Committee for National Day Celebrations with all necessary precautionary measures against the COVID-19 in place, the proceeds of the grand concert will go to support the humanitarian initiatives of the Big Heart Foundation in aid of refugees and the needy people around the world.