Coronavirus toll reaches 425 in China

Coronavirus toll reaches 425 in China
Medical workers in protective suits help transfer the first group of patients into the newly-completed Huoshenshan temporary field hospital in Chins’ Hubei province.
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 2/4/2020 9:43:25 AM IST

 Beijing, Feb 4 (IANS): Chinese authorities confirmed on Tuesday 425 have died in the country due to the novel coronavirus, while Hong Kong reported its first fatality becoming the third nation after China and the Philippines to report deaths. China’s National Health Commission said that the overall number of confirmed cases in the Asian giant was 20,438.

It received reports of 3,235 new confirmed cases and 64 deaths on Monday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. All of the deaths were in Hubei province, whose capital Wuhan is the epicentre of the outbreak.

Also on Monday, 492 patients became seriously ill, while 2,788 patients remained in severe condition, and a total of 23,214 people were suspected of being infected with the virus.

A total of 632 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery.

The commission said 221,015 close contacts had been traced, adding that among them, 12,755 were discharged on Monday, with 171,329 were others still under medical observation.

The Hong Kong victim, a 39-year-old man, died on Tuesday morning the Princess Margaret Hospital where he was in isolation after he was confirmed as the city’s 13th coronavirus case on January 31.

The victim had travelled from Hong Kong to the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak which has killed 425 in China, on January 21 and returned home on January 23. He sought treatment on January 31 after having myalgia (muscle pain) and fever. His 72-year-old mother was confirmed on Sunday as Hong Kong’s 15th case of novel coronavirus infection, and has been transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital for treatment. The development comes after the Philippines on February 2 confirmed the country’s first fatality, becoming the second nation outside China to report deaths.

The other countries where coronavirus cases have been reported are Japan (20), Thailand (19), Singapore (18), South Korea (15), Hong Kong (15), Australia (12), Taiwan (11), the US (11), Germany (10), Malaysia (eight), Macao (eight), Vietnam (eight), France (six), UAE (five), Canada (four), Italy (two), the UK (two), India (two), Philippines (two), Russia (two), Cambodia (one), Finland (one), Nepal (one), Sri Lanka (one), Spain (one) and Sweden (one).

World currently ‘not in a pandemic’: WHO
The World Health Organization said Tuesday that the outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus, which has spread from China to two dozen countries, does not yet constitute a “pandemic”. “Currently we are not in a pandemic,” Sylvie Briand, head of WHO’s Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness division, told reporters in Geneva.
Instead, she said, “we are at the phase where it is an epidemic with multiple foci.” The disease has killed more than 425 people and infected a further 20,000 in China, nearly all of them in central Hubei province -- the epicentre of the outbreak -- and spread to two-dozen countries since it emerged in December.
Briand said that while there is rapid spread of transmission in Hubei, the cases outside the province are mainly “spillover cases” with sporadic clusters of transmission.
At the same time, authorities in China have taken dramatic measures to halt transmission, while other affected countries have also taken steps to avoid the spread of the virus. “We hope that based on those measures in Hubei but also in other places where we have had spill-over, we can stop transmission and get rid of this virus,” she said.

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