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China reports 14 new coronavirus deaths

China reports 14 new coronavirus deaths
People wearing face masks look at their cellphones at Beijing Capital International Airport, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, in Beijing, China March 16. (Reuters)
BEIJING/TEHRAN, MAR 16 (AP) | Publish Date: 3/16/2020 8:50:12 AM IST

The coronavirus death toll in China rose to 3,213 with 14 new fatalities, while the imported cases climbed to 123 after 12 new infections were reported, prompting Beijing to make 14-day quarantine in special facilities compulsory for foreigners returning to the country.

As of Sunday, 14 new deaths were reported, taking the death toll due to the deadly virus to 3,213, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said on Monday.

Sixteen new infections of the novel coronavirus on the Chinese mainland were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 80,860, the health officials said.

Of those new infections, four were in Wuhan, capital of Central China’s Hubei province, the epicentre of the virus, and 12 were imported cases.

With a dozen fresh infections, the total number of imported cases has increased to 123.

Of the 12 imported cases, four were reported in Beijing, four in Guangdong Province, two in Shanghai and one each in Yunnan and Gansu provinces respectively, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.

Beijing’s local government has announced to send all international arrivals into the city to designated quarantine facilities from Monday as part of stepped-up measures against COVID-19 cases from abroad.

People arriving from abroad were previously allowed to undergo the mandatory two-week quarantine at home, but now only those in “special circumstances” will be exempted from being sent to facilities where they must pay for their stay, it said.

Till now, most of the foreigners, except from Italy and Iran, were asked to strictly follow two-week home quarantine supervised by local communities. But since Monday, Beijing has made all foreigners to undergo quarantine at designated places mostly hotels at their own cost.

The NHC said 41 new suspected cases have been reported on Sunday.

Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan have reported a total of 217 confirmed cases, with four deaths in Hong Kong and one in Taiwan, it said.

In Hubei, the total confirmed cases reached 67,798 by Sunday midnight. Of them, majority were reported in Wuhan.

The province has seen a total of 3,099 fatalities, it said. 

A total of 2,975 patients are still in critical condition in the province.

853 deaths in Iran so far 
Iranian state TV says the new coronavirus has killed another 129 people, pushing the country’s death toll to 853 amid 14,991 confirmed cases. 
Iran is struggling to contain the worst outbreak in the Middle East. Monday saw the biggest one-day rise in the death toll since the epidemic began. Even senior officials have been infected.
A member of the Assembly of Experts, which has the power to appoint or dismiss the country’s supreme leader, died from the COVID-19 illness caused by the virus, the semi-official Fars and Tasnim news agencies reported Monday.
Ayatollah Hashem Bathaei, 78, is the latest of several senior Iranian officials to have died from the virus. Cabinet ministers, members of parliament, Revolutionary Guard members and Health Ministry officials have caught the virus, compounding fears about Iran’s response to the global pandemic.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is 80 years old and has been in power since 1989, wore disposable gloves at a recent public event, apparently as a precaution.
The official leading Iran’s response to the virus on Sunday expressed concerns that health facilities could be overwhelmed if the rate of new cases continues to climb.
“If the trend continues, there will not be enough capacity,” Ali Reza Zali, who is leading the campaign against the outbreak, was quoted as saying by the state-run IRNA news agency. Iran is believed to have around 110,000 hospital beds, including 30,000 in the capital, Tehran. Authorities have pledged to set up mobile clinics as needed.
 

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