Tibet has reported the first confirmed case of novel coronavirus pneumonia, Chinese health authorities said on Thursday.
The first case was reported after a 34-year-old man from China’s Hubei province, the epicentre of the virus, travelled to Tibet and complained of sickness.
The patient surnamed Zhang is from the city of Suizhou in Central China’s Hubei province. He came to Lhasa by train from the provincial capital Wuhan on January 24 and was hospitalised on January 25.
So far, the majority of the cases in China and abroad are from the province for which Wuhan is the epicentre.
The regional centre for disease control and prevention diagnosed the patient as a suspected case on Tuesday. Samples have been sent to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention for further tests.
The patient’s vital signs are stable, and close contacts have been put under medical observation, state-run China Daily reported.
Death toll in China’s novel coronavirus increased sharply to 170 with 38 more fatalities reported on Wednesday mainly from the worst-affected central Hubei province.
Wuhan has been under a virtual lockdown for days, with transport suspended and citizens told to stay home due the spread of the virus.
China’s National Health Commission said on Thursday that 7,711 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus had been reported in 31 provincial-level regions and in the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps by the end of Wednesday.
China has ramped up efforts to contain the virus. The country has extended the New Year Festival holidays till February 2 to prevent reverse migration of millions of migrants works to return to their work from holidays.
Universities, primary and middle schools and kindergartens across the country will postpone the opening of the spring semester until further notice.
The government is focussing efforts to prevent mass gatherings and mass travel to ensure the virus is not spread fast.
Beijing has also launched temperature detection at 55 subway stations, including stops at railway stations and Beijing airport. Passengers with abnormal body temperatures will be sent to hospital.