China on Friday confirmed a second death outside the epicenter of a SARS-like virus outbreak that has infected hundreds of people, raising the overall toll to 26 dead.
A spokesperson for the Scottish government told the BBC the risk to the public remains low, but the head of infection medicine at Edinburgh University said there will likely be confirmed cases in the UK.
In China, at least 10 cities, and at least 33 million people, have been put on lockdown - Wuhan, Huanggang, Ezhou, Chibi, Qianjiang, Zhijiang; Jingmen, Xiantao, Xiaogan and Huangshi - all in central China's Hubei province, on the eve of the Lunar New Year, when millions of Chinese traditionally travel.
Schools in Singapore asked parents to declare overseas holiday plans as authorities screened travelers at air, land, and sea checkpoints on Friday, to combat the spread of a flu virus which has revived memories of the SARS pandemic in 2003. Beijing's Forbidden City museum announced it is also closing indefinitely to prevent the spread of the disease.
The Wuhan virus belongs to the same family of coronaviruses that caused SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and originated in China in 2002 resulting in the deaths of about 800 people all over the globe.
Two of the Chinese patients were treated, cured and have travelled back to their country, the Thai health ministry said this week.
Across China, a slew of cancellations and closures dampened the usual liveliness of Lunar New Year.
Hospitals visited by AFP journalists bustled as anxious patients arrived to be screened by staff wearing full-body protective suits.
The municipality authorities of Wuhan, where the coronavirus is believed to have originated, said Friday that the city is building a new 1,000-bed hospital, expected to be completed by February 3.
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The symptoms include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing.
In view of the evolving situation due to the coronavirus outbreak in China as well as the decision of Chinese authorities to cancel public gatherings and events, the Indian Embassy in China on Friday chose to call off the Republic Day reception scheduled to be held at the Embassy on January 26.
The man went to see a doctor in Japan on Monday but once again was not diagnosed with pneumonia.
China was taking action to limit the spread of the virus, he said, and the World Health Organization committee would be ready to reconvene depending on the situation.
"It's Chinese New Year and people have already bought a lot of things to cook at home for several days", he said.
Jingzhou, a city of more than five million, on Friday shut down all rail services leaving the city as well as public buses and other transport.
Out of the total 830 confirmed cases, 177 were in serious condition, it added.
The first cases in the Wuhan outbreak late last month were connected to a seafood market, and experts suspect transmission began from wild animals sold there.