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.”
Donald Trump has left the White House for the final time as president. Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden is attending church ahead of his inauguration, a traditional step taken ahead of the swearing-in ceremony.
The cabinet formed the committee on recommendations of an inter-ministerial committee that had been earlier constituted by the prime minister to look into the Broadsheet saga.
MoHAP also announced that it conducted 162,945 additional COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours, using state-of-the-art medical testing equipment.