The coronavirus death count has surpassed the toll from 2002-03 SARS outbreak. (Photo Credit: IANS)
The death count in China’s novel coronavirus outbreak has climbed to 360 with the number of confirmed cases crossing over 17,000, China’s national authorities announced on Monday. Almost all the deaths are in Hubei Province which showed a sharp increase with 2,103 new confirmed cases. The coronavirus death count has surpassed the toll from 2002-03 SARS outbreak.
On Sunday, the commission had said 1,63,844 close contacts have been traced, adding that among them, 8,044 were discharged from medical observation on Saturday, with 1,37,594 others still under medical observation.
China imposed a lockdown Sunday on a major city far from the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic. The United States, Australia, New Zealand and Israel have banned foreign nationals from visiting if they have been in China recently, and they have also warned their own citizens against travelling there.
To curb the epidemic, China has decided to adopt a host of measures including delaying and reducing conferences and major events, extending the current Spring Festival holidays and supporting online work.
China is rushing to build a new hospital in a record breaking time to treat patients at the epicentre of a deadly virus outbreak that has stricken hundreds of people, state media reported last week. The facility in the central city of Wuhan is expected to be in use by February 3 to serve a rising number of patients infected by a coronavirus that has left at least 26 people dead and millions on lockdown in an effort to curb the spread. Dozens of excavators and trucks were filmed working on the site by state broadcaster CCTV.
The coronavirus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. Like SARS, it can be passed among people through the respiratory tract. Animals are suspected to be the primary source of the outbreak, with Chinese health officials saying the virus originated from the market where wild animals were illegally sold. Studies published this week suggest that the virus may have originated in bats or snakes.
The first case of the new virus was confirmed on December 31, and it has since been detected in Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States.