BEIJING: Recovered coronavirus patients who were discharged from hospitalization but later tested positive again have been found not to be infectious, an official at China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said on Friday.
Guo Yanhong, a hospital administration official at the NHC, told reporters at a daily press conference that there is a need to deepen the understanding of the novel virus and improve health tracking and management of recovered coronavirus patients.
A World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman said the coronavirus outbreak is “getting bigger,” and the scenario of it reaching multiple countries, “if not all countries” is something they have been warning about for quite a while.
The United Kingdom now has 19 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus after Wales identified its first case and two new cases were found in England, health authorities said on Friday.
“The total number of UK cases is 19,” the health ministry said.
Germany has also announced a new coronavirus infection, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 32.
In the Netherlands, a new case of coronavirus has been confirmed, health officials said on Friday, this time in the Dutch capital Amsterdam.
The first Dutch case was confirmed in the southern city of Tilburg late on Thursday. Both had recently travelled in Northern Italy.
The new case "has no link to the first patient," the National Institute for Public Health said in a statement. Both patients are being held in isolation.
Lithuania, meanwhile, reported on Friday its first confirmed case of coronavirus, the government said, as the disease spreads rapidly worldwide.
Hopes that the virus would be contained to China vanished, with countries beginning to stockpile medical equipment and investors taking flight in expectation of a global recession.
New Zealand's health ministry on Friday also confirmed the country's first case of coronavirus in a person who recently returned from Iran.
Belarus registered the first case of coronavirus infection in the country, Russian news agency TASS reported, citing the Belarussian Ministry of Healthcare.
"We would like to inform you that February 27 tests conducted at the Republican Scientific and Practical Center of epidemiology and microbiology showed the presence of coronavirus 2019-nCoV in one of the students from Iran," TASS quoted the ministry.
In Greece, two new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to three.
The health ministry said one of the cases concerned a relative of a 38 year old woman in the northern town of Thessaloniki, the first confirmed case reported in Greece. The woman had recently returned from Milan in northern Italy.
Meanwhile, Nigeria announced the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa.
The case is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan earlier this week, Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said in a statement on Twitter.
“The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos,” Ehanire said.
Italy has become a hotbed of infection in recent days, with the largest outbreak in Europe.
But the low number of cases across Africa, which has close economic ties with China, the epicenter of the deadly outbreak, has puzzled health specialists.
Azerbaijan's coronavirus crisis centre also said a Russian national travelling from Iran had tested positive for coronavirus, the South Caucasus nation's first confirmed case of the virus, the Interfax news agency reported.
In South Korea, 315 additional coronavirus cases were confirmed, pushing up the total infections in the country to 2,337, the Korea Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention said.
The updated numbers came after the agency confirmed 256 cases earlier in the day. Together it marked the largest daily increase since South Korea confirmed its first patient on Jan. 20.
A case of coronavirus has also been diagnosed in the southern French city of Nice, concerning a woman who had recently returned from Milan, said the mayor of Nice on his Twitter account.
“I have been informed of a first case of coronavirus diagnosed this morning at the Nice hospital,” wrote Mayor Christian Estrosi on Twitter on Friday