COVID-19 toll rises to 2,870 in China

COVID-19 toll rises to 2,870 in China
Medical personnel attend to a patient in critical condition at a hospital designated for COVID-19 patients in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province, Sunday, March 01. (AP)
Beijing/TEHRAN, Mar 1 (IANS/AP) | Publish Date: 3/1/2020 9:49:11 AM IST

The death toll due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China has increased to 2,870, health authorities said on Sunday, while the number of confirmed cases has increased to 79,824.

Chinese health authorities said they have received reports of 573 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 35 more deaths on the Chinese mainland on Saturday.

Among the deaths, 34 were in Hubei Province and one in Henan Province, according to the National Health Commission.

Meanwhile, 132 new suspected cases were reported, said the commission.

Also on Saturday, 2,623 people were discharged from hospital after recovery, while the number of severe cases decreased by 299 to 7,365.

The overall confirmed cases on the mainland reached 79,824 by Saturday midnight, including 35,329 patients who were still being treated, 41,625 patients who had been discharged after recovery, and 2,870 people who had died of the disease.

The commission added that 851 people were still suspected of being infected with the virus.

The commission said 51,856 close contacts were still under medical observation. On Saturday, 8,620 people were discharged from medical observation.

By Saturday midnight, 95 confirmed cases including two deaths had been reported in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), 10 confirmed cases in the Macao SAR, and 39 in Taiwan, including one death. As many as 33 patients in Hong Kong, 8 in Macao and 9 in Taiwan had been discharged from hospital after recovery.

Iran raises death toll to 54 from new coronavirus

 Iran’s health ministry raised on Sunday the nationwide death toll from the new coronavirus to 54 as the number of infected cases jumped overnight to 978 people.

The ministry’s spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said new cases were confirmed in a number of cities, including Mashhad, which is home to Iran’s most important Shiite shrine that attracts pilgrims from across the region.

 Calls by Iran’s civilian government to clerics to close such shrines to to the public have not been uniformly followed. The shrine in Mashhad is among those that have remained open.

The new figures represent 11 more deaths than reported on Saturday and a whopping 385 new cases of infections. The new numbers, however, bring down the percentage of deaths to infections from 20 per cent to around 5.5 per cent. Still, that is much higher than other countries, suggesting the number of infections may also be much higher.

Jahanpour said in his daily briefing that the number of cases is “still inclining” across Iran.

Also on Sunday, Iran’s state broadcaster said all flights to the city of Rasht, the capital of nothern Gilan province, had been suspended. It gave no reasons why. The area of Gilan has some of Iran’s highest number of infections after the capital, Tehran, and the holy city of Qom, the epicenter of the virus outbreak in the country.

The illness, known as COVID-19 and that originated in central China, has infected at least seven government officials in Iran, including one of its vice presidents and a senior health ministry official.

Iran has said it is preparing for the possibility of “tens of thousands” of people getting tested for the virus behind the outbreak.

Of the more than 1,100 cases in the Middle East, the majority trace back to the Islamic Republic.

The virus has infected more than 86,000 people worldwide and caused more than 2,900 deaths since emerging in China. Iran has the world’s highest death toll outside of China.


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