Tuesday, 21 September, 2021


Drop in new China virus cases as toll reaches 2345

The total number of infections now amounts to over 76,000 nationwide The total number of infections now amounts to over 76,000 nationwide
Bennie Garza | 25 February, 2020, 17:57

The latest developments came as Chinese health authorities reported a decrease in the rate of deaths and new cases of the coronavirus.

Community staff members delivering foods to residents in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province.

The number of new Chinese cases has seesawed daily but remained under 1,000 for the past four days.

Hubei also revised up its number of confirmed infection cases by 220 to account for cases in its prisons.

The potential economic impact of the outbreak, which has caused massive disruption to businesses in China, overshadowed a meeting of G20 finance ministers in Saudi Arabia.

But concerns have risen about the reliability of the official data, after Hubei officials changed methods of counting cases and amended their figures.

Meanwhile, a team of public health experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) visited Wuhan on Saturday to conduct a detailed probe about the virus which reportedly originated from a seafood market in the city in December previous year.

"The increasing signs of transmission outside China show that the window of opportunity we have for containing this virus is narrowing", Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, told a news conference Saturday.

The UN agency is calling for $US675 million ($A1 billion) to support most vulnerable countries, he said, adding 13 countries in Africa are seen as a priority due to their links to China.

In a briefing to the African Union, Dr Tedros said the WHO was working with African governments to train thousands of health workers and to provide equipment to identify and treat infected people.

Earlier cases had already prompted Iraq to ban travel to and from its neighbour and Kuwait's national air carrier to suspend flights.

Prison officials and jail guards have lost their jobs for ineffective "prevention and control measures", authorities say. Japan said two former passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship had died of the illness.

They were previously cleared in Japan.

The Israeli cruise ship passengers, who had all initially tested negative, arrived on a charter plane overnight and were taken to the Sheba Hospital near Tel Aviv, where they will be kept in quarantine.

Two former Japanese passengers in their 80s have died.

Xie Weijun, head of Shandong's justice department, ad seven other officials were sacked over the outbreak, officials said.

The South Korean official said that the total number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country has surpassed 100. More cases are coming up in Daegu, South Korea's fourth largest city.

"In other regions, with the exception of Hubei, we will be able to defeat the virus in the course of this month, and in the center of the epidemic - in over the next month, we will eliminate this epidemic", said Hongwei. Both victims had been inpatients at the hospital.

More than 80 members of Shincheonji have now been infected, starting with a 61-year-old woman who developed a fever on Feb 10 but attended at least four church services before being diagnosed.

The mayor of Daegu - South Korea's fourth-biggest city, with a population of over 2.5mn - has advised residents to stay indoors, while access to a major USA base in the area has been restricted.

These milder symptoms are good news "in terms of not as many people dying", said Mackay, of Australia.

According to Justice Ministry official He Ping, over half of the reported cases are in jails in Hubei, the province where the coronavirus outbreak originated in December.

On Saturday night, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said in a nationally televised address that the virus outbreak had entered "a more grave stage" and repeated the government is making all-out efforts to contain the further spread of the disease.

South Korea reported an eight-fold jump in viral infections Saturday with more than 400 cases mostly linked to a church and a hospital, and the death toll in Iran climbed to five from a new virus that started in China but has spread globally.

"This outbreak could go in any direction", he said.

Xi said the "unprecedented measures" were "delivering substantial results". Countries have banned travellers from China and airlines have suspended flights to and from the country.

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