Virus death toll nears 1400 in China, with 5090 new cases

14 Février, 2020, 08:52 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Coronavirus patients, medical staff dance at Wuhan hospital to stay positive

The spike in the death toll came a day after markets were cheered when China reported its lowest number of new cases in two weeks, bolstering a forecast by the country's senior medical adviser that the epidemic could end by April.

Further, he explained that locking down and containment measures in Wuhan city, where the virus first emerged, were essential and helped contain the virus, adding that the country should ban trade in wildlife permanently to prevent other virus outbreaks from happening in the future.

A security guard stands outside a plastic tent set up to disinfect people coming in at the entrance of a residential compound, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Beijing, China, on February 13, 2020.

The National Health Commission has not yet announced the nationwide figures.

The political shakeup may have been timed to match the change in reporting standards, so that centrally appointed newcomers could be perceived as taking control and fixing the crisis, versus local officials who are now shouldering the blame for allowing the virus' spread. There are now 63,851 confirmed cases in mainland China, of which 1,380 have died.

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine claimed a woman who wasn't showing symptoms triggered a chain of coronavirus infections. Outside mainland China, there are more than 300 infections, with just two deaths - one in Hong Kong and the other in the Philippines.

About 60,000 people have now been confirmed to have the virus, the vast majority in China.

The change in reporting requirements has only been implemented in Hubei province, not the rest of China.

It was "an example of the global solidarity we have consistently been calling for", he said.

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A cruise liner quarantined off a Japanese port has more than 200 people confirmed with the disease.

A further 44 cases were reported on the Diamond Princess cruise ship at dock in Japan, bringing the total to 219, although authorities said some elderly passengers would finally be allowed to disembark on Friday. The ship, MS Westerdam had docked in Cambodia. Health officials are investigating how she got infected. The ship has 218 infections among its 3,700 passengers and crew.

"My wife and I gave him some chocolates as a show of our appreciation", Lou Poandel, a tourist from New Jersey, told Reuters after he disembarked and met the Cambodian leader.

When China reported a drop in the number of new cases of the deadly coronavirus earlier this week, hopes were raised that the outbreak might be slowing down.

"This increase that you've all seen in the last 24 hours is largely, in part, down to a change in how the cases are being reported", Michael Ryan, head of WHO's health emergencies programme, told reporters.

US President Donald Trump praised China over its response and said Washington was working closely with Beijing.

"I suspect but can't be certain that the underlying trend is still downwards", Professor Hunter said.

The world's third-largest economy is already bracing for a sharp slowdown in growth and some analysts expect another contraction in the current quarter as the virus outbreak hurts exports, output and consumption through a sharp drop in overseas tourists.

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