Beijing’s health commission has confirmed that a passenger who arrived in the Chinese capital from Iran on Saturday morning with a transfer in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Russian Embassy in China said on Monday.
"According to Beijing’s health commission, the foreign national, who arrived in Beijing from Moscow on February 29 on flight SU204 of Russia’s Aeroflot airline has been diagnosed with a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus COVID-19. This passenger had traveled from Iran with a transfer in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport," the embassy said. This passenger’s citizenship has not been reported.
According to the diplomatic mission, all passengers who had been on this flight were taken to a hotel-turned isolation site to undergo medical examination. Some 20 Russian passengers were on this flight. None of them have tested positive for the coronavirus, TASS reports.
Those individuals, including two Russians, seated next to the coronavirus sufferer, will remain isolated in this hotel and undergo a 14-day quarantine. Other passengers will be able to leave the hotel later on Monday, the embassy stated.
Beijing Capital International Airport’s authorities reported that a passenger who arrived from Moscow on February 29 was suspected of having contracted the coronavirus. In addition to 20 Russian passengers, 15 Russian crew members were onboard that plane. According to the Russian Embassy in China, they did not have any symptoms of the disease on Saturday.
A pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan, a large trade and industrial center with a population of 12 million, in late December. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, characterizing it as an epidemic with multiple locations. Besides China, major coronavirus outbreaks have been reported in Italy and South Korea. According to the latest reports, nearly 90,000 cases of patients infected with the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in 65 countries, including Russia. The death toll from the virus has exceeded 3,000, yet over 45,000 patients have recovered to date.