Coronavirus: Death Toll In China Rises To 563 (Representative Image) (Photo Credit: File Photo - IANS)
The death count in China’s novel coronavirus outbreak has climbed to 563 with the number of confirmed cases crossing over 28,018, China’s national authorities announced on Thursday. At least 73 people died due to the virus on Wednesday and the new confirmed cases of the epidemic went up by 3,694, the country's National Health Commission announced.
The commission further stated that among the deceased, 70 were from Hubei Province and its provincial Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus outbreak. "Tianjin, Heilongjiang and Guizhou provinces registered one death each," the Commission added.
On Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping, presiding over a special meeting of the country’s top Communist Party body for the second time since the crisis started, said "we have launched a people’s war of prevention of the epidemic."
China imposed a lockdown 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.
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.
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.