At least 106 people have now died from the ongoing novel Coronavirus outbreak in China with 24 new deaths reported from the central Chinese province of Hubei overnight.
The first death from Beijing was reported late on Monday as the countrywide infections breached the 4500-mark – the numbers are rapidly rising.
“Chinese health authorities announced Tuesday that 4,515 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) had been reported in 30 provincial-level regions by the end of Monday. A total of 106 people died of the disease,” the national health commission (NHC) said in its latest report on Tuesday.
It added that 976 patients remained in critical conditions, and 6,973 people were suspected of being infected with the virus as of the end of Monday.
“Monday saw that 1,771 new confirmed cases, 2,077 new suspected cases and 26 deaths — 24 in Hubei Province, one in Beijing and one in Hainan Province.
Also on Monday, 515 patients became seriously ill and nine people were discharged from hospital after recovery,” the official update said.
A staggering 44,132 others across China are under medical observation, it added.
More than 50 million people across China have been put under partial or complete lock down as the country’s government steps up its response: Wuhan is virtually quarantined with inbound and outbound traffic suspended in an effort to contain the virulent virus.
Germany also reported the first case of Coronavirus early on Tuesday; more than 50 confirmed cases in 13 countries have been reported so far.
US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention raised its travel precautions for China on Monday to its highest of three levels: “Warning”, CNN reported. This means travelers are advised to “avoid nonessential travel” to the country.
China itself is scrambling to contain the virus by putting in travel restrictions across the country especially as hundreds of millions prepare to begin their journey back home after Lunar New Year (LNY) holidays.
“China extended the Spring Festival holiday (or the LNY holiday) and postponed school openings on Monday, while transport restrictions have been adopted in various areas to further contain the coronavirus epidemic,” official news agency Xinhua reported.
“The seven-day Spring Festival vacation, scheduled to end on January 30, was extended up to February 2. Universities, primary and middle schools and kindergartens across the country will postpone the opening of the spring semester until further notice,” according to the cabinet of State Council, China.
On Monday, the northern port city of Tianjin and the eastern provinces of Zhejiang and Anhui began to suspend inter-provincial highway passenger bus services. Previously, Shanghai and Qinghai Province had halted similar bus services. Along with travel restrictions, temporary closure of public venues such as tourist sites, museums and cinema halls has also taken place.
Authorities in Delhi isolated on Monday three people at the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital with flu-like symptoms after they returned from China. This was the first time anyone was quarantined in the national capital over the coronavirus outbreak that has infected nearly 3,000 people across the world in less than a month.
A confirmed coronavirus case is yet to be discovered in India but a series of similar hospitalisations in four cities – Kolkata, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Patna – as well as the death of a Thai national in West Bengal’s capital on Monday, raised fears of the pathogen having arrived on Indian soil.
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