Coronavirus carrier 'travelled from Egypt' before diagnosis in China

Chinese documents claim coronavirus carrier traveled from Egypt before diagnosis
2 min read
18 February, 2020
China health authorities are making a call-out for passengers sitting near a traveler with undiagnosed coronavirus on a flight from Cairo to Shanghai, via Moscow.
A passenger wears surgical mask inside an airplane at the Hong Kong International Airport [Getty]
New Chinese documents have claimed that a person carrying  coronavirus travelled from Egypt to China, and was diagnosed just days after their return.

Ibrahim Negm, a member of the Board of Directors of the Egyptian community in China, posted on Facebook a call-out by health authorities in Pinghu province from Saturday.

The notice urged passengers on a flight from Cairo to Shanghai with a stopover in Moscow on 7 February to inform their local hospital.

It is thought that the carrier had made a round trip to Egypt from China.

Likely by coincidence, Egypt's health ministry announced on Friday it had confirmed a case of the novel coronavirus, making it the first official infection in Africa.

The patient is thought to be a Chinese national on a business trip to Egypt.

The death toll from the epidemic virus has neared 1,400 cases, almost exclusively in China where it was first identified.

Deep trade links with China and often overstretched healthcare systems have raised concerns about the capacity of African countries to respond to an outbreak.

Earlier this month, Egypt suspended all flights on its national carrier to China. They will remain grounded until the end of the month.

Three hundred and one Egyptians were evacuated from Wuhan, epicentre of the virus in China, and have remained in quarantine for 14 days.

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