China: An outbreak of a new coronavirus in China has spread to more cities, as the number of patients tripled and a third person died, stoking concerns about the containment of the virus.
The Daxing health commission in the capital Beijing said it had confirmed two cases of coronavirus, while the southern Guangdong province’s health commission confirmed one case in Shenzhen. They mark the first cases in China beyond the central city of Wuhan where the virus first emerged. The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said 136 new cases of pneumonia caused by the coronavirus strain had been found in the city over the weekend, adding to 62 already known cases.
The virus belongs in the same family of coronaviruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002/03 outbreak that also started in China. Its symptoms include fever and difficulty in breathing, which is similar to many other respiratory diseases and poses complications for screening efforts.
China’s National Health Commission said it will step up prevention efforts, but acknowledged it still doesn’t know the source of the virus.