Shanghai Trying to Find People Who Crossed Coronavirus Patient From Iran

SHANGHAI, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Shanghai is trying to identify anyone who came into contact with a coronavirus patient who arrived in the city from Iran, the local government said on Thursday.

The patient, who has not been identified, was diagnosed in Zhongwei, a city in the northwestern region of Ningxia, some 2,000 km (1,240 miles) away, on Wednesday.

The Shanghai government said it was investigating the matter further and would ensure that all the places the patient visited were disinfected.

Authorities in Zhongwei said the patient arrived in Shanghai last Thursday after flying from Iran via Moscow. The patient, who was wearing a mask throughout the journey, then travelled to Zhongwei via the city of Lanzhou by train.

Shanghai has reported 337 confirmed cases and three deaths as of Wednesday.

The World Health Organization has said the epidemic in China has already peaked, and the number of new cases on the mainland has been steadily declining. The number of deaths on Wednesday was the lowest since Feb. 20.

But the number of new infections overseas exceeded those in China for the first time on Wednesday, with Italy and Iran emerging as new epicentres.

Iran had reported 19 deaths and 139 confirmed cases of infection as of Wednesday.

(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Tom Hogue and Lincoln Feast.)