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China COVID-19 toll hits 3,012 as Wuhan continues strict measures

6091
By IANS Updated: Mar 05, 2020 10:28 pm
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Beijing, March 5 (IANS): The overall death toll in China due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) increased to 3,012 with a total of 80,409 confirmed cases on Thursday, even as the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak in the mainland, has continued strict measures in an effort to curb the virus from spreading any further.

Wuhan party chief Chen Yixin said on Wednesday that the city’s battle against the fatal disease had entered a “critical” stage and ordered an inspection of people from other parts of the country still stranded in the city, the South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.

“The situation facing epidemic control in Wuhan is still complicated. We will not be able to contain the spread if we do not impose unified strict measures,” Chen said.

On Thursday, mainland China reported 139 new cases, up from 119 a day earlier, as well as 31 new deaths.

In a statement, the National Health Commission said 134 of the new infections were in Hubei province, whose capital is Wuhan, with 131 in the city.

The Commission added that two imported cases were reported in Zhejiang province. By the end of Wednesday, 20 imported cases had been reported.

Globally, more than 92,000 people have tested positive and 3,100 have died.

As of Thursday morning, the number of confirmed cases outside China were reported in South Korea (5,766), Italy (3,089), Iran (2,922), Japan (1,023, including 706 on Diamond Princess), France (285), Germany (262), the US (154), Spain (151), Singapore (112), Hong Kong (104), the UK (85), Kuwait (56), Norway (56), Australia (52), Malaysia (50), Bahrain (49), Thailand (47), Taiwan (42), Switzerland (37), Canada (33), Sweden (32), Austria (29), India (29), the UAE (27), Iraq (26), Netherlands (24), Belgium (23), Iceland (16), Vietnam (16), Lebanon (13), Oman (12), Algeria (12), San Marino (10), Israel (10), Macau (10), Croatia (nine), Greece (eight), Qatar (eight), Finland (seven), Ecuador (seven), Ireland (six), Mexico (five), Pakistan (five), Czech Republic (five), Russia (four), Senegal (four), Romania (four), Portugal (four), Belarus (four), Philippines (three), Azerbaijan (three), New Zealand (three), Georgia (three), Brazil (two), Indonesia (two), Slovenia (two), Hungary (two), Estonia (two), Egypt (two), and one each in Poland, Latvia, Nigeria, Dominican Republic, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Luxembourg, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Andorra, Jordan, Tunisia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Armenia, Argentina and Chile, according to figures issued by the South China Morning Post.

The deaths outside China were recorded in Italy (107), Iran (92), South Korea (35), Japan (12), the US (11), France (four), Hong Kong (two), Australia (two), Spain (one), San Marino (one), Taiwan (one), Thailand (one) and the Philippines (one).

290 million students out of school as global virus battle intensifies

Almost 300 million students worldwide faced weeks at home with Italy and India the latest to shut schools over the deadly new coronavirus, as the IMF urged an all-out global offensive against the epidemic.

More than 95,000 people have been infected and over 3,200 have died worldwide from the virus, which by Thursday had reached more than 80 countries and territories.

The US state of California declared an emergency following its first coronavirus fatality – raising the US death toll to 11 – and a cruise ship was kept offshore after passengers and crew members developed symptoms.

Switzerland reported its first death from the outbreak on Thursday, while Bosnia and South Africa confirmed their first cases and Greece’s cases surged after 21 travellers recently returned from a bus trip to Israel and Egypt tested positive for the virus.

Most deaths and infections are in China, where the virus first emerged late last year, prompting the country to quarantine entire cities, temporarily shut factories and close schools indefinitely.

But it has quickly spread beyond China’s borders.

Several countries have implemented extraordinary measures, with UNESCO saying on Wednesday that school closures in more than a dozen countries have affected 290.5 million children.

India, the world’s second-most populous country, later announced it was closing all primary schools in the capital New Delhi until the end of March to prevent the virus from spreading.

The orders came as an India-EU summit scheduled for March 13 was also postponed. While temporary school closures during crises are not new, UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay said: “the global scale and speed of the current educational disruption is unparalleled and, if prolonged, could threaten the right to education”.

6091
By IANS Updated: Mar 05, 2020 10:28:12 pm