TOKYO, Jan 24 (KUNA) -- Japan's health ministry said Friday it has confirmed the country's second infection of the new coronavirus strain which has been spreading across China.
A Chinese tourist in his 40s, who arrived from Wuhan, China, on Sunday, has been hospitalized in Tokyo, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said. Since last month, the central Chinese city has been hit by a pneumonia outbreak associated with the new virus.
Before his arrival, the man had a fever for several days and visited hospital twice in China, but was not diagnosed as having pneumonia, the ministry said. The man went to hospital in Tokyo on Monday but again was not diagnosed with pneumonia. However, as he continued to have a fever and pain in the throat, he went to see another doctor on Wednesday and was admitted due to suspicion of pneumonia.
The man is in stable condition, the ministry said, adding he didn't visit the seafood and live-animal market in Wuhan, which is believed to be the epicenter of the outbreak.
It marked the second coronavirus infection confirmed in Japan. A Chinese man in his 30s living in Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo, was also detected on January 15, after visiting Wuhan.
At a meeting of relevant ministers on Friday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed Cabinet members to ensure thorough measures to block the entry of the virus at quarantine stations in airports and seaports. Abe also ordered his ministers to promptly provide information to the public and protect the safety of Japanese citizens living overseas.
Chinese health authorities announced Friday that 830 confirmed cases of infection across the country, with the death toll at 25, according to state-run Xinhua News Agency.
There have been cases in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Macau, Hong Kong, Thailand and the US.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, the World Health Organization (WHO) explained on its Website.
A novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans, it said, adding they are transmitted between animals and people. (end)