The 70-year-old man was infected with the virus in China’s Hubei province but took nearly four weeks to show any signs of the virus, the local government said. According to the Hubei government website, he had driven to Shennongjia, north-western Hubei, from eastern Ezhou, where he had close contact with his coronavirus infected sister on January 24. The pensioner, identified as Jiang, then developed a fever on February 20 and tested positive for coronavirus a day later.
This case could change the current policy which presumes a 14-day incubation period is enough.
The global epidemic has killed 2,548 people so far and infected a further 78,572.
There is a surge in untraceable clusters of new coronavirus patients which has caused experts to warn that containment methods are “not going to work”.
According to Dr Amesh Adalja of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the new virus spreads “as easily as a common cold”.
Dr Adalja said coronavirus is “certainly being spread by people who show such mild symptoms that no one can tell”.
He added: “If that’s the case, all of these containment methods are not going to work.
“It’s likely mixed in the cold and flu season all over the place, in multiple countries and gone unnoticed until someone gets severely ill.”
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Ian Mackay, virus expert at Australia’s University of Queensland, warned a global “pandemic” is on the way as the number of hotspots increases.
He said: “A number of spot fires, occurring around the world is a sign that things are ticking along.
“What we are going to have here is probably a pandemic.”
South Korea’s president has said he was putting the country on “red alert” due to the rapid rise in new cases of the coronavirus.
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Health officials in South Korea reported 169 new infections, bringing the total to 602.
Officials in Italy confirmed the first deaths of Europeans from the virus after two pensioners died.
Neither had travelled to China, adding to fears the virus could spiral out of control.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said his government was maintaining “an extremely high level of precaution” after 45 people were diagnosed with the virus.
The Italian authorities placed 50,000 people in lockdown in ten towns in Lombardy and Veneto, telling them to remain indoors.
Thirty-two Brits and European passengers who were trapped on board the virus-riddled Diamond Princess cruise liner off the coast of Japan have been flown back to Britain.
The NHS confirmed more than 100 people who were placed in a quarantine facility in Milton Keynes are being released.
For the past 14-days, 118 guests had been put in quarantine at the Kents Hill Park training and conference centre.
The group, who were brought back to Britain earlier this month on a repatriation flight from Wuhan, included around 10 children and a family of four.
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