China coronavirus cases rise to 7,700 as evacuations continue
Beijing, Jan. 30 (IANS/PTI): The death toll in China from the new coronavirus rose to 170 on Thursday, with 7,711 confirmed cases, as repatriation flights for foreign nationals continued.
According to the daily report of the National Health Commission, updated at 00.00 (local time) the number of patients in serious condition stands at 1,370, while 124 people have recovered and were discharged.
On Wednesday, 38 deaths were registered and 1,737 confirmed cases were added with 131 patients in serious condition and another 21 people cured, Efe news reported.
So far, 12,167 suspected cases have been detected – which means they have symptoms, but it has not yet been confirmed whether or not they have contracted the coronavirus – and about 82,000 people have been in contact with patients and remain under medical observation.
Most of the new cases and deaths have been registered in the province of Hubei, where the outbreak originated. On Wednesday, Hubei registered 1,032 confirmed cases and 37 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 162, according to the Health Commission of the province.
On Wednesday, 356 new cases were detected and 25 deaths were confirmed in the city of Wuhan, the outbreak’s city of origin. Access to and from the city has been cut off since last Thursday in order to contain the spread of the virus. According to local authorities, 9 million people remain within the city.
There have been no deaths recorded outside of China.
Tibet remains the only province that has not registered any cases, although it did report a first suspected case on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a Japanese government-chartered flight with 210 Japanese nationals on board arrived Thursday in Tokyo from Wuhan as part of the operation to evacuate hundreds of its citizens.
The charter flight landed early in the day at Haneda Airport and is the same plane that brought 206 citizens home on Wednesday. Among those, three of them have tested positive for the coronavirus and two of the three were asymptomatic, said the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on Thursday.
Vietnam’s National Administration of Tourism announced the country on Wednesday temporarily stopped receiving tourists from areas in China with confirmed outbreaks and was restricting the movements of Chinese tourists and those who have been to outbreak areas who are already in the country.
The Japanese government is considering sending a third plane to repatriate the remaining citizens who requested to be evacuated from the country. A total of 650 Japanese have made the request.
Outside of China, Hong Kong and Macau, other countries with confirmed cases include Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, South Korea, Japan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Canada, the United States, United Arab Emirates, Australia (two new cases reported Thursday), France andGermany. Finland reported its first case Wednesday. Several cases in Taiwan were also included in the national count.
The symptoms of the new coronavirus, provisionally designated by the WHO as 2019-nCoV, are similar to those of cold but may be accompanied by fever and fatigue, dry cough and dyspnea (shortness of breath).
Russia to shut border with China over coronavirus
Russia said on Thursday it was closing its border with China to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus and would stop issuing electronic visas to Chinese nationals.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told a government meeting that the order had been signed “to take measures to close the border (with China) in the Far East”.
The Russian foreign ministry said that as of Thursday it would stop issuing Chinese citizens with electronic visas, which can be used to cross into parts of the Far East and western Russia.
The foreign ministry also advised Russians to refrain from travelling to China and for those in China to get in touch with the Russian embassy.
Russia does not have any confirmed cases of the new virus but the Russian government has set up a task force to prevent its possible spread.