Nepal has reported its first case of the China coronavirus infection, the first in South Asia, according to Reuters and AFP.
According to Nepal's Ministry of Health and Population on Friday, a Nepali student who had come home for the Lunar New Year holiday from school in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, tested positive for the illness "after preliminary tests and final confirmation from the WHO Collaborating Centre in Hong Kong".
The student, in his early 30s, arrived in Nepal on January 9. He went to Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Kathmandu four days after running a fever and having breathing problems, AFP reported.
The student is now under surveillance; those who have been in close contact with him "are being searched, identified and tested" for infection, the statement said.
Nepal, which falls between Tibet and India and is renowned for its Himalayan peaks, is the seventh country, along with the United States, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore and Korea, to confirm coronavirus cases.
The World Health Organisation so far has refrained from declaring the virus' spread a global emergency.
During a press conference in Geneva on Thursday, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the outbreak is "an emergency in China" and there is "no evidence" of human-to-human transmission outside China, "but that doesn't mean it won't happen".
China has reported more than 900 cumulative confirmed cases of the malady, with more than half occurring in Wuhan.
The death toll has climbed to 26 across the country, with two cases reported outside Hubei, a landlocked Central China province in which Wuhan is located. The rest of deaths were all reported in Hubei.
Almost all cities in Hubei have been locked down and put under travel bans, according to local government notices.
Flights, trains, buses and ferries connecting Wuhan to other cities in Hubei have been suspended too. The city is a hub for several major high-speed railway lines.
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