South Korea reports first local human-to-human transmission of coronavirus

A medical official checking the temperature of a patient at a hospital in Seoul, on Jan 27, 2020.- EPA-EFE

SEOUL (AFP): South Korea on Thursday (Jan 30) reported the first local case of human-to-human transmission of the deadly virus that has killed 170 people in China and spread to more than a dozen countries.

The announcement comes as international airlines are either suspending or paring back services in and out of China in a bid to halt the virus reaching further.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Korea confirmed two more cases Thursday, bringing the total six.

The sixth confirmed patient, a 56-year-old South Korean man, was diagnosed after being "in contact with the third patient" in the South, it said.

He was quarantined at a hospital in Seoul.

The other five patients were diagnosed after arrival from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have emerged from an animal and seafood market.

Apart from China, human-to-human transmission has also been reported in Japan, Germany, Thailand and Taiwan. - AFP

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