China confirmed a total of 573 new cases in China, with most in Hubei province. (Photo Credit: IANS)
China's death count from the new coronavirus rose to 2,870 on Sunday, after the National Health Commission reported 35 more fatalities. The commission also confirmed a total of 573 new cases in China, with most in Hubei province. This brings the total number of cases in mainland China past 79,824. Among the confirmed cases, 2,870 people have died, 35,329 patients are still being treated while 41,625 have been discharged after recovery.
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.
COVID-19 is transmitted through droplets and fomites during close unprotected contact with those who are infected with the virus.
Airborne transmission has not been reported for COVID-19 and it is not believed to be a major source of transmission based on available evidence.
The lockdown of virus-hit Wuhan and 18 other cities in Hubei with over 50 million people since January 23 has effectively prevented further exportation of infected individuals to the rest of the country, the report said.
WHO team in China
A team of public health experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) visited Wuhan on Saturday to conduct a detailed probe about the virus which reportedly originated from a seafood market in the city in December last year.
The NHC said WHO experts along with their Chinese counterparts who formed a joint investigation team have held talks with the local health authority in Wuhan and visited relevant healthcare institutions.
The UN team comprises specialists from the United States, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore and South Korea, Hong-Kong based South China Morning Post reported.
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 has opened a new hospital built in 10 days, infused cash into tumbling financial markets and further restricted people's movement in hopes of containing the rapidly spreading virus and its escalating impact.
(With PTI inputs)