Countries ramp up efforts against new coronavirus hinh anh 1Staff of the Taiwan Centre for Disease Control screen body temperature of passengers on a flight from Wuhan city of China at Taoyuan International Airport on January 13 (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Many countries are stepping up measures to prevent the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that have infected over 400 people, mostly in China.

The concern about the outbreak of a large epidemic has increased after an expert of the Chinese National Health Commission confirmed the human-to-human transmission of this virus.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is still investigating this disease, and it is set to have an urgent meeting on January 22 to consider the declaration of a global health alert related to the disease.

So far, Thailand, Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK), the US and Taiwan (China) have reported nCoV infections.

The Indonesian Ministry of Health has appealed to the country’s people keen on travelling to the RoK and Japan to exercise caution following some nCoV cases reported in the two countries.

The Indonesian Government is augmenting efforts to prevent the entry of the nCoV. It has increased health quarantine and installed thermal scanners at 135 entry points.

Meanwhile, the RoK’s Ministry of Health and Welfare is investigating the persons having contact with people infected with nCoV, the virus that has caused a strange pneumonia in Wuhan city of China.

T’way Air of the RoK decided to delay flights on a new route to Wuhan because of concern over the virus spread. This country’s health authority has also strengthened screening measures for travellers from Wuhan at airports.

Besides, airports in Russia are also tightening the quarantine of passengers from China to detect nCoV-infected cases.

On January 22, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea banned foreign tourists from the neighbouring China from entering this country for fear of the virus.

The nCoV was first discovered in Wuhan city in late December 2019.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness in the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tract of humans and some animals. They can spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions of patients. 

In humans, coronaviruses cause illnesses in winter and early spring, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). However, those strains are not the causes of the strange pneumonia in Wuhan.

China warned on January 22 that the nCoV may spread further through mutation. It also confirmed 440 cases of pneumonia caused by the 2019-nCoV, including nine deaths, by the end of January 21./.