Monday, 24 February, 2020

Global death toll from new coronavirus outbreak rises to 362

Cecil Little | 05 February, 2020, 00:36

As of early Tuesday, the coronavirus death toll in China stood at 425 with the number of confirmed cases exceeding 20,000.

A spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has accused the United States of spreading fear and panic with its response to the coronavirus outbreak that began in the city of Wuhan.

The number of deaths in China has now passed the total Chinese toll from the 2002-03 SARS outbreak, another virus that emerged from China and killed nearly 800 people around the world.

The U.S. has 11 confirmed cases, with 167 who tested negative and 82 who are pending results, according to the CDC.

"The spread of the virus within China has been so severe - termed a global health emergency by WHO - that tens of millions of Chinese residents, cities vital to global supply chains and trade flow, are in complete lockdown", said Bethel Loh, a macro strategist at ThinkMarkets.


In total, around 150 people have been infected with the new virus outside China.

Wuhan also plans to convert three existing venues, including a gymnasium and an exhibition center, into hospitals to receive patients infected with the virus, the headquarters for the epidemic control said late Monday.

Australia, Italy, Japan, Russia and Singapore have announced similar travel restrictions as the U.S. Thailand has confirmed 19 cases, mostly Chinese tourists but also in a Thai taxi driver.

"The U.S. government hasn't provided any substantial assistance to us, but it was the first to evacuate personnel from its consulate in Wuhan, the first to suggest partial withdrawal of its embassy staff, and the first to impose a travel ban on Chinese travelers", Hua said.

At an online briefing, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying accused the USA of overreacting, acting against World Health Organization advice and "spreading fear".


The 269,000-square-foot facility has 1,000 beds and was built to serve exclusively as a treatment and quarantine center for patients with the 2019-nCoV virus that has much of the country on lockdown. All Hubei schools are postponing the start of the new semester until further notice.

Airlines around the world have stopped flights to parts of China.

At the same time, the head of the World Health Organization said on February 3 in Geneva that it was working with Google to ensure that searches about the new virus turned up information from the United Nations health agency first, part of efforts to fight "rumors and misinformation" about the outbreak.

He said they were now operating at "between 60 and 70 percent capacity". The Chinese government is apparently striving to do just that.


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