- A video of medics in full protective hazmat suits scanning dozens of plane passengers for the symptoms of a mysterious, fatal coronavirus spreading across China is stoking fears of a pandemic.
- China is desperately trying to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
- Not much is known about the illness, except that it originated in the city of Wuhan, has pneumonia-like symptoms, and is similar to the 2003 SARS virus.
- As of Tuesday, at least six people in the city had died from the illness and dozens of others had been infected, local authorities said.
- There have been reports of the virus in Beijing, Shenzhen, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.
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A video of medics in hazmat suits scanning dozens of plane passengers for the symptoms of a mysterious, fatal virus spreading across China is stoking fears of a global epidemic.
The clip shows at least two medical staff members, wearing what appears to be a Level D hazmat suit, standing in the plane’s aisle scanning the temperatures of passengers.
It was tweeted on Sunday by David Paulk, a journalist at Sixth Tone, a news site based in Shanghai. He said that it showed a domestic flight out of Wuhan and that the clip had been circulating on Chinese social media.
Business Insider has not independently verified the video.
passengers screened for coronavirus symptoms on a domestic flight out of Wuhan pic.twitter.com/ytUbVzpYRZ
— David Paulk (@davidpaulk) January 20, 2020
The state-funded Beijing News also posted a similar clip from January 12, showing at least three medics scanning the temperatures of passengers on Air China Flight CA119, from Wuhan to Macau, before taking off.
The virus has pneumonia-like symptoms, including fever, cough, and chest pains, but little else is known about it.
It has been identified as a strain of coronavirus, a family of viruses known to infect the nose, throat, or sinuses. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which infected large parts of Asia in 2003, is in the same family.
As of Tuesday, at least six people in Wuhan had died from the illness, local health authorities said. Nearly 200 other people in the city, ranging from 25 to 89 years old, had been infected, with 35 in “severe” condition and nine “critically ill,” the authorities said.
The virus has been reported in other Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai, as well as in Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.
The outbreak could become even deadlier as millions of people in China travel back to their hometowns to celebrate Lunar New Year on Saturday.
The US Centres for Disease Control in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York said they would also start screening passengers coming from China for signs of the infection.