The contagion risk in the Old Continent has gone from “low” to “moderate”. The toll is now 9 dead and 440 infected. Cases also in Hong Kong and the USA
The probability that the mysterious virus that caused 9 deaths and 473 confirmed pneumonia cases in China to be imported into the European Union has gone from “low” to “moderate”. This was established by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control in the latest risk assessment. ” Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed, but more information is needed to assess the extent of this mode of transmission. The source of the infection is unknown and may still be active. As a result, the likelihood of infection for travellers who visit Wuhanand who have close contacts with symptomatic individuals is considered moderate. Therefore, the probability of importing cases into the EU is also considered moderate, “said the Center for Disease Control Prevention, which on 17 January considered the risk as” low “.
Meanwhile, the new virus, with an outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan has already crossed national borders: the Hong Kong health authorities confirmed the first patient suffering from viral pneumonia on Wednesday. Hong Kong joins the list of countries that have had at least one confirmed case of coronavirus pneumonia and that includes Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand (with four cases), South Korea and the United States.
“There is a possibility of a viral mutation and a further spread of the disease,” warned Deputy Minister Li Bin of the Chinese National Health Commission during a press conference. The Commission has announced extraordinary measures to curb the spread of the virus, with hundreds of people travelling to China for the ‘lunar year’ holidays.
A group of experts from the World Health Organization visited Wuhan, reports the Xinhua agency, which states that the visit took place on Monday and yesterday. The group visited the Tianhe airport in the city to inspect the temperature control of the passengers, to the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University to ascertain the procedures for hospitalization and quarantine of the patients, and was finally visiting the centre for disease control and prevention in the Hubei province, where Wuhan is located. An extraordinary WHO meeting is scheduled today to determine whether the virus represents a global emergency. Meanwhile, the mayor of Wuhan has urged “to stay away from the city”.
“If it is not necessary, we suggest everyone not to come to Wuhan,” said the mayor of the megalopolis of internal China, Zhou Xianwang, interviewed by the state television station China Central Television. Reducing the flow of people, added the mayor, will decrease the possibility of the virus spreading and ease the pressure on efforts to control and prevent the virus. “While the Chinese Communist Party has warned local officials not to hide epidemic cases, as occurred during the Sars epidemic. “Anyone who deliberately delays or hides to report cases for their own interest will be nailed to the pillar of infamy for eternity,” warned the CCP’s Political and Legal Affairs Committee from their social media account, cited by the South China Morning Post.
The fear, in fact, is that what happened with Sars would repeat itself between 2002 and 2003, when the virus killed almost 800 people. In Italy, the safety procedures provided in these cases for flights have been triggered: the Ministry of Health has arranged checks at Fiumicinoon those from Wuhan: from Thursday the activation of a sanitary channel with a temperature control via scanner will start. It is also expected to fill in a form indicating the destination and route of the passengers, once disembarked. Italy has three direct flights with Wuhan, all to Fiumicino, and numerous non-direct flights, whose passenger traffic is expected to increase on the occasion of the Chinese New Year. As required by the International Health Regulations, at the Fiumicino airport there is in fact a health procedure, managed by the USMAF SASN, to check the presence of suspect symptomatic cases on board the planes from Wuhan and their possible transfer in bio-containment at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani in Rome.
The coronavirus effect is also reflected in oil. According to Goldman Sachs, the potential impact of Chinese ‘pneumonia’ on the price of crude oil could be $ 3, acting contrary to concerns about the interruption of Middle Eastern supply.