The toll in the Wuhan coronavirus reached 106 in China on Tuesday, as 26 more deaths were reported in the country, the South China Morning Post said. The number of coronavirus cases, on the other hand, rose to over 4,500, as Chinese authorities confirmed 1,771 new cases on Tuesday morning.

China’s National Health Commission said on Tuesday that apart from passing through the air, the virus is spread through physical contact with infected persons. The incubation period of the new virus is on average three to seven days, with the longest being 14 days, the commission said. It added that the coronavirus strain is 85% similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

Authorities in Delhi on Monday isolated three people at the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, the Hindustan Times reported. Officials said the three had returned from China and exhibited flu-like symptoms.

“Three people with suspected coronavirus were brought to the hospital today,” Dr Minakshi Bhardwaj, medical superintendent of Ram Manohar Lohia hospital said. “They had shown no symptoms after they came back from China and were living with their families in Delhi-NCR. They were brought to the hospital after they started showing some respiratory symptoms.”

Two of these patients arrived in India last week, while the third had returned from China nearly a month ago.

In Madhya Pradesh, a youth who had returned from Wuhan was admitted to a hospital in Ujjain along with his mother for possible exposure to the virus, PTI reported. State Health Minister Tulsi Silawat said officials have been instructed to monitor the situation and step up vigil.

Meanwhile, in Kolkata, a Chinese tourist was admitted to the isolation ward of a government hospital. A Thai woman died at the Kolkata hospital after developing a respiratory illness.

Three people, including two men aged 40 and another in his 30s from Pune, and a 36-year-old man from Mumbai have been quarantined in hospitals in the two cities, The Hindu reported on Tuesday. While the Mumbai patient, a resident of Tardeo, had visited Shanghai and Guangzhou in China, the man in his 30s from Pune had recently visited Shanghai.

“The patient is vitally stable and has been put on symptomatic treatment,” Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Executive Health Officer Dr Padmaja Keskar said, referring to the Tardeo patient.

One patient each has also been isolated in Jaipur, Chandigarh and Patna, with all three being Indian citizens who returned from China. Samples of all the patients have been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune.

So far, the institute has tested 14 out of the 17 samples sent to it for infection. None of the samples have tested positive. Three patients who had earlier been quarantined in Mumbai have also tested negative for the infection. However, they have been kept under observation, Dr. Archana Patil, a member of the Maharashtra Directorate of Health Services said.

On Monday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrange special flights to evacuate Indians stranded in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak. He also requested Modi to give necessary instructions to the Indian Embassy in China to act proactively and provide necessary assistance to Indians, including people from Kerala stranded in Wuhan and Yichang.

Nearly 200 people have been kept under observation in Kerala and Maharashtra, following screening for possible exposure to the virus. The Prime Minister’s Office on Saturday reviewed India’s preparedness to deal with the situation. India has also requested China to permit over 250 Indian students stuck in Wuhan to leave the city.

The newly identified virus is believed to have originated late last year in a Wuhan market illegally selling wildlife.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka reported its first case of a coronavirus infection on Monday, AP reported. The patient is a Chinese woman in her 40s who arrived in Sri Lanka last week as a tourist from China’s Hubei province, which is the region most affected by the epidemic.

The woman was admitted to the Infectious Disease Hospital in Colombo on Saturday with fever. “She arrived on January 19 and was tested positive for the virus when she was leaving the airport on January 25,” Dr Sudath Suraweera, the chief epidemiologist of the country’s health ministry said.

On Tuesday, Sri Lankan authorities suspended its policy of granting visa on arrival for Chinese travellers, PTI reported. Travellers from China now must apply for a visa on the website.

Officials at Colombo international airport said the entry to airport’s arrival and departure terminals had been restricted to passengers only. Sri Lanka has evacuated 204 of its students from China so far, and more will arrive by flights on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka on Monday appointed a National Action Committee to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed the committee comprising health experts.


Canada on Monday confirmed that a man had tested positive for the new virus, the first such case in the country, AFP reported. His wife has also tested positive, but her case has been listed as presumptive, pending final confirmation by a laboratory in Winnipeg, Canadian health authorities said.

David Williams, Ontario province’s chief medical officer, said in a statement that the patient is a man in his 50s who returned from Wuhan to Toronto on January 22. He qualified the risk to others in Ontario as “low,” given that the woman has been in self-isolation.

“We also have 19 persons under investigation for whom results are pending,” Barbara Yaffe, the Ontario province’s associate chief medical officer, told reporters in Montreal.