Wuhan city mayor Zhou Xianwang revealed on Sunday (26 Jan) that some 5 million residents left Wuhan before the lockdown of the city. There are now about 9 million people remaining in the city. As of yesterday, Wuhan had 533 confirmed cases. The virus’ ability to spread is said to be getting stronger.
The Chinese central government imposed a lockdown on Wuhan and several cities on Thursday (23 Jan) hoping to stop the new virus from spreading to other parts of China. However, many had already left the city for the holiday, while others rushed out after the lockdown was announced on Wednesday night (22 Jan).
Ma Xiaowei, the minister in charge of China’s National Health Commission (NHC), told the media that the new virus could be transmitted even during incubation period, which did not happen with Sars. Sars, which killed more than 800 people and infected over 8,000 around the world, typically had an incubation period of two to seven days, and was not infectious during that time.
“From observations, the (Wuhan) virus is capable of transmission even during incubation period,” Ma said, adding that the incubation period lasted from one to 14 days. “Some patients have normal temperatures and there are many milder cases. There are hidden carriers,” he said.
Ma said also that the virus had adapted to humans and appeared to have become more transmissible. “There are signs showing the virus is becoming more transmissible. These walking ‘contagious agents’ [hidden carriers] make controlling the outbreak a lot more difficult.”
Meanwhile, it was reported yesterday (27 Jan) that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has arrived in Wuhan to take charge of the effort to curb the spread of the virus.
Health officials warned that the spread of the deadly disease was accelerating, with new infections and deaths continuing to rise.
China’s National Health Commission said today that 2,744 people had so far been infected and 80 killed. There were 769 new cases yesterday, compared with 688 recorded the day before.
According to a Hong Kong news report, Singapore Changi Airport is the second top destination of those travelling out of Wuhan between 30 Dec 2019 and 22 Jan 2020 with 10,680 visitors.
All of the five confirmed cases in Singapore are tourists from Wuhan.
Meanwhile, Malaysia had earlier reported that all 4 Wuhan virus cases in the country were tourists from Wuhan who came through Singapore.