China COVID-19 toll 2,943, lowest new cases since epidemic began
Beijing, March 3 (IANS): The death toll due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China increased to 2,943, health officials said on Tuesday, adding that a further decline in new cases suggested the epidemic was stabilising on the mainland since authorities began publishing nationwide data in January.
The National Health Commission said there were 125 new cases reported on Tuesday which was down from 202 recorded a day earlier and also the lowest number since January, the South China Morning Post reported.
China began releasing data for Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei and the epicentre of the outbreak, in early January, where officials said cases rose from 41 on January 10 to 198 on January 19.
National data was first published on January 20, when 291 people across the country were recorded as infected.
The Commission also said that there were also 31 new fatalities on Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 2,943.
With 114 of the latest cases occurring in Hubei, where the disease first emerged, there was also a jump in new infections outside the province to 11, up from six on Monday.
A total of 47,204 patients have now recovered, it added.
While China reported fewer cases, South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday declared the nation had entered into a “war” against the coronavirus as it reported 600 new cases on Tuesday, bringing total infections to 4,812 with 28 fatalities.
Speaking at a weekly cabinet meeting in Seoul, Moon announced plans to inject $25 billion directly or indirectly into the virus response.
The South China Morning Post quoted Moon as saying that his country’s COVID-19 response was in “a critical phase” and added the situation had changed completely with the massive number of infections among followers of a religious sect Shincheonji, which has have accounted for about 60 per cent of the confirmed cases.
Meanwhile, a WHO team has arrived in Tehran to deliver aid and help to contain the coronavirus outbreak in Iran, which has the highest death toll (66) from the epidemic after China.
Taking to Twitter on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that containment of the disease was “feasible” and it had not yet become a global pandemic.
“WHO will not hesitate to describe this as a pandemic if that’s what the evidence suggests,” he said.
Globally, about 86,000 people have been infected, with cases in more than 50 countries, a BBC report said on Tuesday, adding that more than 3,000 people have died since the outbreak was first reported last December.
As of Tuesday morning, the number of confirmed cases outside China were reported in South Korea (4,812), Italy (2,036), Iran (1,501), Japan (980, including 706 on Diamond Princess), France (191), Germany (157), Spain (119), Singapore (108), Hong Kong (100), the US (91), Kuwait (56), Bahrain (47), Thailand (43), Taiwan (42), Switzerland (42), the UK (40), Australia (33), Malaysia (29), Canada (27), Norway (25), the UAE (21), Iraq (21), Netherlands (18), Austria (18), Vietnam (16), Sweden (15), Israel (10), Macau (10), Lebanon (10), Belgium (eight), Greece (seven), Croatia (seven), Russia (six), Finland (six), Ecuador (six), Oman (six), India (five), Mexico (five), Pakistan (five), Algeria (five), Denmark (four), Philippines (three), Romania (three), Georgia (three), Czech Republic (three), Azerbaijan (three), Qatar (three), Iceland (three), Belarus (two), Portugal (two), Brazil (two), Egypt (two), Indonesia (two), and one each in New Zealand, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Lithuania, Andorra, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, North Macedonia, Nepal, Estonia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Morocco, Afghanistan, Monaco, Tunisia, Dominican Republic, Armenia, San Marino and Senegal. The deaths outside China were recorded in Iran (66), Italy (52), South Korea (28), Japan (12), the US (six), France (three), Hong Kong (two), Australia (one), Taiwan (one), Thailand (one) and the Philippines (one).