KFC worker diagnosed with coronavirus

A fast-food employee in mainland China has been diagnosed with the coronavirus after working a full-day shift last month.

The infected staff member worked a 12-hour shift at a KFC store in Xian, Shaanxi province, according to local media reports.

The employee worked "at the front desk" on January 12, but their main job was to "prepare meals", China News reported.

KFC is among several US franchises in China that have temporarily closed their restaurants over fears about the spreading virus, which has killed more than 900 people in the mainland.

Yum China, which has exclusive rights to fast-food chains in China, has already closed more than 30 per cent of its 9200 restaurants across the country.

The chain operator recently launched "contactless" delivery to avoid spreading the virus via food delivery. In videos posted on Chinese social media platforms WeChat and Weibo, a delivery person has their temperature taken and suits up before disinfecting all food packaging and leaving the restaurant.

In a statement, the company said: "As a result of the outbreak, the company may experience operating losses for the first quarter of 2020."

 

There are now 40,198 cases of the coronavirus worldwide. Picture: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth
There are now 40,198 cases of the coronavirus worldwide. Picture: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth


KFC is the largest restaurant of its kind in China, with more than 6500 stores across the country. Select KFC locations in Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, have been closed since January 24.

The Chinese Government has allocated more than $10 billion to fight the virus, the country's finance ministry said.

It comes as the death toll from the coronavirus in mainland China has hit 902, making it more deadly than the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic.

There is now a total of 40,198 cases of the coronavirus worldwide, including 15 infections in Australia, with 904 deaths and 2152 recoveries.

Officials recently confirmed that the virus was airborne, meaning it can travel through particles in the air as well as through direct transmission and contact transmission.

"Aerosol transmission refers to the mixing of the virus with droplets in the air to form aerosols, which causes infection after inhalation, according to medical experts," Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau deputy head Zeng Qun said at press briefing on Saturday, the China Daily reports.

"As such, we have called on the public to raise their awareness of the prevention and control of the disease caused by family gatherings."



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