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Coronavirus: faeces and urine can transmit the infection, Chinese authorities say


South Korean soldiers wearing protective gear spray disinfectant in Seoul as part of preventive measures against the coronavirus. South Korea on Wednesday confirmed 142 new cases of the coronavirus , down from 851 a day earlier, taking the country’s total infections to 5,328

– the world’s largest after China. It reported four new deaths as the country’s toll reached 32.

Mainland China’s new daily cases continued to drop as it reported 119 infections, but the day’s new reported deaths jumped to 38, from 31 a day earlier, bringing its total fatalities to 2,981.

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said 115 of the new cases on the mainland were reported in Hubei province, the outbreak’s epicentre. The total number of infections in mainland China stood at 80,270, with 49,856 patients having recovered.

Transmission by faeces and urine recognised. The spread of infection through faeces and urine has been recognised as an additional mode of transmission in China’s latest coronavirus diagnosis and treatment plan.

Citing research in which traces of coronavirus were found in patients’ stool samples, the NHC’s plan added contact with and aerosolisation of contaminated faeces and urine as transmission modes. Aerosolisation refers to conversion into particles small enough to be carried in the air.

Chinese health authorities have said that respiratory droplets and close contact with infected people are the main ways the coronavirus is spread. The NHC added in its previous treatment plan that aerosol transmission was possible for those in a relatively closed environment for long periods.

Global mask and gown shortages

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that severe and mounting disruption to the global supply of protective equipment was leaving health care workers ill-equipped to fight the outbreak.

“Prices of surgical masks have increased six-fold, N95 respirators have more than tripled and gowns cost twice as much,” WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a media briefing on Tuesday. “Supplies can take months to deliver, market manipulation is widespread, and stocks are often sold to the highest bidder.” Source: South China Morning Post

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