Coronavirus: First case of human-to-human transmission confirmed outside China

Children wearing masks offer incense and pray at Seng Guan Temple on the eve of the Chinese New Year on January 24, 2020 in Manila, Philippines.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

The first confirmed case of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus outside China has been reported from Vietnam, according to information posted on the World Health Organization (WHO) website on January 24. The novel coronavirus infection has been confirmed in a person who has not travelled to any part of China but only came in contact in Vietnam with a confirmed case who had visited Wuhan.

When the WHO’s Emergency Committee met on January 22-23 to decide whether the novel virus constituted a ‘public health emergency of international concern’, only exported cases were reported from other countries, including Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement after the Emergency Committee meeting had said there had been cases of human-to-human transmission in China, which appeared limited to family groups and health workers caring for infected patients. “At this time, there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission outside China,” he said.

In China, fourth-generation cases had been reported in Wuhan and second-generation cases outside Wuhan, the statement said.

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According to the Situation Report-4 posted on the WHO website on January 24, there have been 830 confirmed cases in China and 25 deaths. But the National Health Commission statement on January 25 noted that more than 1,300 people had been infected globally and 41 had died. The total number of confirmed cases in China stood at 1,287.

“New epidemiological information reinforces the evidence that the 2019-nCoV can be transmitted from one individual to another,” the WHO Situation Report said. “During previous outbreaks due to other coronavirus (Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)), human-to-human transmission occurred through droplets, contact and fomites, suggesting that the transmission mode of the novel coronavirus can be similar.”

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 4:19:37 PM |

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