Brazil has three suspected cases of coronavirus, minister says
Cases were reported in Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, and Paraná
Published in 29/01/2020 - 11:27 By Marcelo Brandão - Brasília
Brazil’s Health Ministry has confirmed late in the afternoon Tuesday (28) that the country has three suspected cases of coronavirus. In addition to a 22-year-old student, who has been hospitalized in Belo Horizonte, two other people are suspected of carrying the virus. One of them in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul state, and another in Curitiba, Paraná.
These patients are reported to meet the criteria for a suspected case. They show fever and at least one respiratory sign or symptom, in addition to having traveled in the last 14 days to China, where the contamination was first reported. No further details have been disclosed.
Official data unveiled Tuesday morning indicate that 7,063 people have been screened for coronavirus in Brazil from January 3 through 27, of whom 127 required more in-depth consideration, and only the student in Belo Horizonte was given suspected status.
Faced with the epidemics that has spread quickly through Asia and also reached countries in Europe and North America, the minister advises Brazilians to avoid traveling to China. Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta urged citizens to travel only if necessary.
“We’re not advising against or banning trips to China. We don’t yet know the characteristics of this new virus. We know it’s highly lethal. It’s not recommendable that someone expose themselves to a situation like that and return to Brazil and have more people exposed. We recommend that trips not be made until the real picture is brought to light,” he told reporters.
Since last weekend, Brazilian airports have relayed the warning issued by Brazil’s National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) about the virus. The message reiterates sanitary procedures and stresses that any passengers showing symptoms linked to the coronavirus should seek a health agent. The minister said the government has also worked to put together printed material in multiple languages to advise people coming to the country on how to prevent infection.
On Tuesday afternoon, Anvisa officials met with representatives from air carriers at the International Airport of Tom Jobim, also known as Galeão, to provide guidance concerning the coronavirus.
Until yesterday (27), WHO reported 2,798 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, dubbed 2019-nCoV, across the world. Most were reported in China (2,761), including the administrative region of Hong Kong (8 cases confirmed), Macao (5), and Taipei (4).
Outside of China, 37 cases have been confirmed. Of these, 36 included a trip to China, of which 34 involve people that were in Wuhan or had some link with an already confirmed case. Of the total, the US and Thailand registered five cases each, plus four in Japan, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, and South Korea. France reported three, Vietnam two, Canada and Nepal one each.
This Tuesday, health officials held a meeting with WHO members about the issue. Mandetta said he will meet next week with state health secretaries to discuss the action to be taken by the government.
Translation: Fabrício Ferreira - Edition: Fábio Massali