Coronavirus: 132 more people died in Hubei province, the hard-hit epicentre of the outbreak. (Photo Credit: IANS)
The death count from China’s new coronavirus epidemic jumped to 2,000 on Wednesday after 132 more people died in Hubei province, the hard-hit epicentre of the outbreak. In its daily update, the province’s health commission also reported 1,693 new cases of people infected with the virus. This brings the total number of cases in mainland China past 74,000.
The death count due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China has surpassed the toll from the SARS outbreak on the mainland and Hong Kong almost two decades ago. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a disease in the same family as the new coronavirus, left nearly 774 people dead in mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. More than 120 others died around the world.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for the use of digital technology such as big data, artificial intelligence and cloud computing to better support epidemic monitoring and analysis, virus tracing, prevention and treatment, and resource allocation.
His call came amid deployment of robots in hospitals in Wuhan treating the virus patients to supply and other materials.
China will waive trade-war tariffs on imports of selected US medical equipment from March 2, the government said Tuesday, as the country battles to contain the new coronavirus epidemic. The move comes as doctors and nurses treating virus patients in China’s overstretched hospitals struggle to deal with the health crisis amid a shortage of basic medical items.
Patient monitors, blood transfusion equipment and instruments to measure blood pressure are among the products that qualify for the exemptions, according to a list released by the Tariff Commission of the State Council.
They are among 696 US products that now qualify for waivers, including key agricultural and energy items such as frozen pork and beef, soybeans and liquified natural gas.
Other products include some types of wheat, corn and sorghum, certain metals such as copper and lead ore, as well as diesel and other fuel oils.