Staff member sells masks at a Yifeng Pharmacy in Wuhan, Chin, on Wednesday. AP
The Chinese-ruled gambling hub of Macau confirmed on Wednesday its first case of pneumonia linked to an outbreak of a newly identified coronavirus strain in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, China's state news agency Xinhua said.
The patient, a 52-year-old woman, was a tourist from Wuhan and reported to a local hospital on Tuesday afternoon, it said.
The death toll from the new flu-like coronavirus in China rose to nine on Wednesday with 440 confirmed cases. The virus, originating in Wuhan at the end of last year, has spread to Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
The former Portuguese colony's government said last week it issued prevention guidelines to schools and other social service institutions and enhanced temperature screening at maritime terminals and land-based checkpoints.
Health authorities in neighbouring Hong Kong said on Tuesday the city had no confirmed cases of people contracting the Wuhan virus.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses named because of the crown-like spikes on their surfaces that cause respiratory illnesses ranging from the common cold to the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
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.
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.
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.”
'The UAE has decided to renew, from today and for a renewable period of two weeks, the suspension of entry of all foreign nationals holding valid UAE residence visa, in a bid to contain the spread the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure their safety.
The ministry also announced that 35 cases fully recovered from the virus, after receiving treatment, bringing the total recovered cases to 96.
The Ministry said a 62-year old Asian expat and a 78-year old GCC national who tested positive for COVID-19 died due to complications related to chronic diseases. This brings death toll to eight.
"Considering the problems of overseas Pakistanis it has been decided that the first flight would land at Islamabad International Airport on April 4. All passengers will be sent in quarantine and tested for COVID-19. Those tested negative will be sent home through special arrangement of transport," Asad Umar said.