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Coronavirus: Death toll in China jumps to 361, over 17205 confirmed cases

By PTI Updated: Feb 03, 2020 8:32 pm

Beijing, Feb. 3 (PTI): The death toll in China’s coronavirus epidemic soared to 361 with 57 deaths on Sunday alone while the number of confirmed cases climbed to 17,205, Chinese health officials announced on Monday.

China’s National Health Commission in its daily report on Monday said that 2,829 new cases of coronavirus were reported nationwide on February 2, taking the total number of infection to 17,205.

The death toll rose to 361 with 57 deaths reported on Sunday, state-run Xinhua quoted the commission’s report as saying.

Among Sunday’s deaths, 56 were reported from Hubei Province, the epicentre of the virus outbreak, and one from southwest China’s Chongqing, the commission said.

Total 5,173 new suspected cases were reported on Sunday, it said.

The overall confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland reached 17,205 by the end of Sunday.

Also on Sunday, 186 patients became seriously ill, and 147 people were discharged from hospital after recovery.

The commission said 2,296 patients remained in severe condition and 21,558 people were suspected of being infected with the virus.

A total of 475 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery.

The commission said 1,89,583 close contacts had been traced, adding that among them, 10,055 were discharged from medical observation on Sunday, with 1,52,700 others still under medical observation.

By the end of Sunday, 15 confirmed cases had been reported in Hong Kong and eight in the Macao SAR and 10 in Taiwan it said.

WHO launches campaign against China virus misinformation

The World Health Organization said Monday it was working around the clock with internet and social media giants to combat widespread misinformation surrounding the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned of the dangers posed by “the spread of rumours and misinformation” as China saw a surge in deaths and infections from the highly contagious virus.

“We have worked with Google to make sure people searching for information about coronavirus see WHO information at the top of their search results,” Tedros said in opening remarks to the UN health agency’s Executive Board meeting in Geneva.

“Social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Tencent and Tiktok have also taken steps to limit the spread of misinformation,” he said.

His comments were interrupted by a fit of coughing, but the WHO chief assured the assembly that there was no need to worry: “It is not corona.” He spoke as the death toll in China surged above 360, surpassing the number of fatalities in the country from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2002-03.

The number of infections in China also jumped significantly on Monday, passing 17,200.

The 57 confirmed new deaths on Monday was the single biggest increase since the virus was detected late last year in the central city of Wuhan, where it is believed to have jumped from animals at a market into humans.

The virus has since spread to more than 24 countries, despite many governments imposing unprecedented travel bans on people coming from China. The first foreign death from the virus was reported in the Philippines on Sunday.

WHO warned late Sunday that the 2019-nCoV outbreak “has been accompanied by a massive ‘infodemic’,” which it defined as “an over-abundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.”

The agency said it had risk communication and social media teams “working 24 hours a day to identify the most prevalent rumours that can potentially harm the public’s health, such as false prevention measures and cures”.

The WHO last week declared the crisis a so-called Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), with Tedros reiterating Monday that the rare declaration was not taken due to lack of confidence in China’s handling of the situation.

It was “taken primarily because of the signs of human-to-human transmission outside China, and our concern of what might happen if the virus were to spread in a country with a weaker health system,” he said.

WHO has also advised against “measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade”, at a time when a wide range of countries are advising against travel to China and even closing their borders to people travelling from the country.


Except for the headline, this has not been edited by Eastern Mirror and taken directly from news agency feeds.

By PTI Updated: Feb 03, 2020 8:32:45 pm