UAE announces new coronavirus case

The Ministry of Health said the male patient, who travelled to the Emirates from Wuhan, was in a stable condition

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UAE health officials announced a new case of coronavirus in the country on Saturday evening.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention said the male patient, who arrived in the country from the virus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan, was in a stable condition and was receiving medical care.

He is the fifth confirmed case in the country.

A Chinese family of four already diagnosed with coronavirus remain under medical care, the ministry said.

The mother, father, nine-year-old girl and grandmother from Wuhan were confirmed to have the virus after visiting a local health clinic, a week into their trip.

They arrived in the Emirates on January 16 and took the grandmother to a doctor with flu-like symptoms on January 23, a top health official said.

Officials are retracing the family's steps to find out who they came into contact with.

More than 10,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus in more than 20 countries.

Last week, the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus epidemic an international public health emergency.

The designation is rarely used and could lead to improved international co-ordination in tackling the disease.

"Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing in Geneva.

The US State Department raised its warning alert to the highest level, telling Americans "do not travel" to China and urged those already there to leave.

Singapore, Vietnam and Mongolia went a step further.

Citing a likely "sharper rise" in the spread of the virus, Singapore's government barred arrivals and transit passengers who visited China in the past 14 days, and stopped issuing all forms of new visas to Chinese passport holders.

Mongolia will ban Chinese nationals and foreigners coming from the country by plane, train or road from Saturday until March 2. Mongolians will be barred from going to China over the same period.

In Vietnam, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered the suspension of new tourist visas for Chinese citizens and foreigners who have been in China over the last two weeks.

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