KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — China has reported 139 new cases of the novel coronavirus, with the pneumonia outbreak spreading beyond Wuhan to Beijing and Shenzhen over the weekend.
Reuters reported that three people have died in the Wuhan outbreak that comprises 201 cases in total as of yesterday, including the 139 new cases, as Chinese New Year approaches this weekend. About 170 people were reportedly still hospitalised, while 25 have been cured.
“An animal source seems the most likely primary source of this novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, with some limited human-to-human transmission occurring between close contacts,” the World Health Organization (WHO) tweeted today.
According to Reuters, two coronavirus cases were confirmed in Chinese capital Beijing, while one case was confirmed in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.
Two cases were recently reported in Thailand and one in Japan. A new suspected case involving a 52-year-old man with pneumonia who had travelled to Wuhan was reported in Singapore yesterday, while five previously suspected patients in the island republic tested negative for the new virus, according to The Straits Times.
The WHO previously said the coronavirus, whose origin is unknown, could be caused by a newly emerging member of the family of viruses that caused the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak — which infected over 8,000 people and killed almost 800 in 2003 worldwide, including a significant number in China.