ST. PETERSBURG, January 22. /TASS/. Medical professionals confirmed on Wednesday evening that a Chinese national hospitalized earlier in St. Petersburg had not contracted a new type of coronavirus, the press service of the St. Petersburg Healthcare Committee informed TASS.
"The Chinese national is confirmed not to have coronavirus. The tests are ready, he had contracted regular SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome - TASS)," the committee’s spokesperson informed.
Earlier, it was reported that two people, one Russian and one Chinese national, had been hospitalized in St. Petersburg on suspicion of a new type of coronavirus. The Russian national was taken to hospital from Pulkovo Airport after arriving from Shanghai. The Chinese citizen is a student who arrived in St. Petersburg several days earlier.
Due to the spread of a coronavirus in China, passengers arriving to Russia from a number of Asian countries are monitored for symptoms of fever. The Russian Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare is monitoring the epidemiological situation in the country since the appearance of the new virus. Additional measures to increase sanitary and quarantine control on the Russian border have been taken.
About the virus
On December 31, 2019, the Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a new type of pneumonia in the city of Wuhan in central China. On January 7, Chinese specialists determined the virus behind the infection - coronavirus 2019-nCoV. Doctors say that the symptoms of the new coronavirus include running nose, cough, sore throat and chest tightness. Migraines and fever are also possible, and they can last for several days. The risk group includes people with a compromised immune system, such as seniors and children. They present with symptoms similar to those of pneumonia and bronchitis.
Chinese officials confirmed on Wednesday that 473 people had been infected and 17 had died from the disease. Cases of coronavirus have been detected in Wuhan, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and other Chinese cities. One-off cases of infection have also been reported in Japan, South Korea and Thailand.
The Russian Health Ministry informed earlier that it had begun the search for the vaccine against the virus, holding talks with Chinese researchers on the possibility of getting access to biological materials in order to begin elaborating the vaccine.