Asia-Pacific

Hong Kong confirms first deadly coronavirus case

Travellers wear masks in the arrival hall of the Hong Kong International Airport this week. Source: AAP

Hong Kong has confirmed its first case of the flu-like coronavirus which began in Wuhan in China, and spread to more Chinese cities and beyond.

Hong Kong has confirmed its first case of a new flu-like coronavirus following an outbreak in the central mainland Chinese city of Wuhan.

The outbreak, which began in Wuhan, has spread to more Chinese cities including the capital Beijing, Shanghai, and Macau and cases have been reported outside the country's borders, in South Korea, Thailand and Japan.

Medical staff in protective outfits take precautions with patients at Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei.
Medical staff in protective outfits take precautions with patients at Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei.
AAP

The patient arrived in Hong Kong via high-speed railway from the mainland, and has been quarantined at the Queen Elizabeth hospital, the reports said.

The Hospital Authority on Tuesday enhanced laboratory surveillance for pneumonia cases, to include patients with travel history to all of mainland China, rather than just Wuhan.

Hong Kong had deployed temperature screening machinery at the airport and the high-speed rail station. Air passengers are required to fill in health declaration forms.

Some 500 isolation wards at public hospitals were available, with more ordinary wards to be converted if necessary.

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).

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