COVID-19 toll in China increases to 2,236

COVID-19 toll in China increases to 2,236
Workers wearing protective gears help each other disinfect at a subway station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday. (AP)
Beijing, Feb 21 (IANS) | Publish Date: 2/21/2020 9:41:16 AM IST

The overall death toll in mainland China due to the deadly coronavirus has increased to 2,236, while the number of confirmed cases reached 75,465, health authorities said on Friday.

The National Health Commission said that it received reports of 889 new confirmed cases and 118 deaths on Thursday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, reports Xinhua news agency.

Among the deaths, 115 were in Hubei province and one each in Zhejiang, Chongqing and Yunnan.

Also on Thursday, 2,109 people were discharged after recovery, while the number of severe cases decreased by 231 to 11,633.

The Commission added that 5,206 people were still suspected of being infected with the virus.

It further said that 606,037 close contacts had been traced, adding that among them, 28,804 were discharged on Thursday, with 120,302 others still under medical observation.

As of Friday morning, the number of reported cases outside China were reported in Japan (723), South Korea (156), Singapore (85), Hong Kong (69), Thailand (35), Taiwan (24), Malaysia (22), Australia (17), Germany (16), Vietnam (16), the US (15), France (12), Macau (10), the UK (nine), the UAE (nine), Canada (eight), Iran (five), India (three), the Philippines (three), Italy (three), Russia (two), Spain (two), Egypt (one), Cambodia (one), Finland (one), Nepal (one), Sri Lanka (one), Sweden (one) and Belgium (one), according to figures published by the South China Morning Post.

The deaths outside China were recorded in Japan (three), Hong Kong (two), Iran (two), South Korea (one) and France (one).

COVID-19 situation improving, epidemic under control: China

 The novel coronavirus outbreak is under control and the general situation is improving after no new cases were registered in 14 of Chinas 34 provinces and autonomous regions, a top health official said here on Friday.

Zeng Yixin, the Deputy Director of the National Health Commission, told the media here that daily deaths were however still “at a high level” and must be taken seriously in Hubei province, where the outbreak is linked to fish markets in its capital, Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic, reports Efe news. “Control of the epidemic has seen significant achievements and the situation is tending to be better,” said Zeng, adding that the daily number of confirmed cases in China fell from 15,152 to less than 900 on Thursday.

Wuhan hospital doctor dies from COVID-19
Peng Yinhua, a doctor from a Wuhan hospital that receives patients infected with the deadly coronavirus, has died from the virus, authorities said on Friday.
Peng, 29, a respiratory acute care medical professional, became infected while working at the First People’s Hospital of Jiangxia district of Wuhan, reports Xinhua news agency.
He was hospitalized on January 25 and transferred to the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital for treatment five days later. He died at 9.50 p.m. on Thursday despite doctors’ all-out efforts to save his life. 
S.Korea confirms 100 more COVID-19 cases
South Korea on Friday confirmed 100 more cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), raising the total number of infections to 204. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said that of the total patients, 153 were residents in Daegu, about 300 km southeast of the capital Seoul, and its surrounding North Gyeongsang province, reports Xinhua news agency. 
A total of 144 cases were linked to church services in Daegu. The patients attended the same services.
The number of COVID-19 infections rose sharply in just three days, after 20 new cases were reported on Wednesday and 53 more cases reported on Thursday. 
Since Januray 3, the country has tested more than 16,000 people, among whom 13,016 tested negative for the COVID-19 virus and 3,180 were being checked. Seventeen patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recoveries.
Also on Friday, authorities declared Daegu and Cheongdo “special care zones” following the sudden spike.


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