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China steps up public transport coronavirus quarantine

Updated: Jan 25,2020 03:45 PM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China has ramped up quarantine measures on public transport by demanding the immediate isolation and transfer to the nearest observation stations of coronavirus infected patients on board.

The order was issued in a circular by a multi-department task-force headed by the National Health Commission to fight the virus outbreak.

Public transport operators should "immediately take isolation, ventilation and sterilization measures on public transport" when either confirmed or suspected cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus are found onboard trains, buses, ships and planes, the circular said.

The nearest observation stations must be immediately notified, it added.

People who have close contact with the people suspected or confirmed of having the virus should also subject themselves to epidemic surveys and necessary medical examinations by health authorities, according to the circular.

Local governments have been asked to set up observation stations at bus stations, ports and flight terminals for coronavirus quarantine and not to turn away any patients, confirmed or suspected.

Temperature monitoring for all passengers should also be stepped up at these transport hubs, especially for travelers from Wuhan, the hardest-hit city of the outbreak, it said. Suspected or confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus pneumonia should be dissuaded from boarding.

Chinese health authorities announced on Jan 25 that 1,287 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus, including 237 in critical condition, had been reported in the country by the end of Jan 24. The pneumonia situation had resulted in 41 deaths.

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