Transmission of coronavirus within seconds highlights need of wearing masks

By Ji Yuqiao Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/6 18:08:44

Photo: Xinhua/Peng Zhaozhi

Two people in East China's Zhejiang Province were reported to have become infected with novel coronavirus after just 50-second and 15-second contact with confirmed patients.

In the first case of rapid transmission, a man in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, was infected with coronavirus after spending only 50 seconds with a confirmed patient at a hospital while neither of them were wearing masks, according to a report by Beijing Evening News.

In another case, a 56-year-old man in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, was infected with the virus after spending only 15 seconds with a confirmed patient at a local market stand. Both were also not wearing masks at the time.  

Both men have no history of living or traveling in the epidemic area within 14 days of the onset of the disease, did not have any contact with wild animals, and did not know any confirmed patients.

After checking surveillance videos that recorded the two patients' movements and collating their activities, the police discovered on Wednesday that the two men both had short contact with confirmed patients while not wearing masks, the first on January 22 and the other on January 23.

The two cases caused panic on social media, but experts sought to put the public's mind at ease.

"There is no need to panic. These two are just special cases with lots of contingency, and the virus epidemic needs to have particular circumstances," Zhou Zijun, a professor at the Peking University School of Public Health, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Zhou said that the virus does not have such a "strong ability" to be transmitted so easily. "If you walk on the street and keep over two meters away from others, there is very little possibility of being infected. The virus can hardly survive in the open space in the winter."  

Posted in: SOCIETY

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