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Japan bolsters virus screening for Spring Festival travel rush

Patient in Thailand did not visit market in question, WHO says

New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido: Japan's gateways are checking the health status of passengers who have visited Wuhan, China recently. (Photo courtesy of Hokkaido) 

TOKYO/DALIAN, China -- The Japanese government is stepping up screening at ports of entry following the outbreak of a new coronavirus in China as it expects a surge in visitors for the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday this month.

While no new cases have been reported in Wuhan, the epicenter of the infection, since Jan. 3, a 61-year-old woman from the eastern Chinese city who became sick in Thailand has tested positive for the virus. The patient apparently was a regular customer at a local fresh market but she did not visit the Huanan South China Seafood Market from where most of the cases were detected, which has raised alarm at the World Health Organization.

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