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Coronavirus outbreak: Death toll crosses 1,800 in China; Hospital director dies in Wuhan

Coronavirus Latest Update: Liu Zhiming, the head of a leading hospital, died in China's central city of Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 18, 2020 2:21:21 pm
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Coronavirus Outbreak Update: The death toll due to coronavirus climbed to 1,868 in China on Tuesday as 98 more people died while the total number of confirmed cases jumped to 72,436, AP reported. Out of the 98 deaths reported on Tuesday, 93 were reported from Hubei Province, the epicentre of the virus, three from Henan, and one each from Hebei and Hunan, said the National Health Commission.

Hubei reported 1,807 new confirmed cases, taking the total number of such cases to 59,989 in the province. Another 1,432 new suspected cases were reported from the rest of China.

China virus outbreak threatens global drug supplies: European business group

The world’s pharmacies may face a shortage of antibiotics and other drugs if supply problems from China’s coronavirus outbreak cannot soon be resolved, the head of a European business group in China warned on Tuesday.

EU Chamber of Commerce President Joerg Wuttke added that Beijing was making supply chain problems worse with a mandatory quarantine of arrivals from abroad as it battles the virus, which has killed more than 1,800 Chinese mainly in the central province of Hubei.

Japan targets HIV drug trials to fight coronavirus; cruise ship evacuations continue

Japan plans to trial HIV medications to treat patients infected with coronavirus as its growing number of cases poses an increasing threat to the economy and public health, the government’s top spokesman said on Tuesday.

The government was making “preparations so that clinical trials using HIV medication on the novel coronavirus can start as soon as possible,” Yoshihide Suga told a briefing, but added he could not say how long a new drug would take to be approved.

Japan had 520 confirmed infections by Monday, including 454 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined off the port of Yokohama, the health ministry said, with one death from the virus.

Coronavirus infections slow in China as global economic impact spreads

The number of new coronavirus cases in mainland China fell below 2,000 on Tuesday for the first time since January but the virus remains far from contained, as its economic impact spreads globally with South Korea announcing an economic emergency. China’s lockdown of cities and tough restrictions on travel and movement have limited the spread of the virus outside the epicentre in Hubei province, but at great cost to the Chinese economy and global business. Over two dozen trade fairs and industry conferences in China and overseas have been postponed due to travel curbs and concerns about the spread of the virus, potentially disrupting deals worth billions of dollars.

Chinese health report says 80% of virus cases have been mild

Health officials in China have published the first details on nearly 45,000 cases of the novel coronavirus disease that originated there, saying more than 80% have been mild and new ones seem to be falling since early this month, although it’s far too soon to tell whether the outbreak has peaked. Monday’s report from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention gives the World Health Organization a “clearer picture of the outbreak, how it’s developing and where it’s headed,” WHO’s director-general said at a news conference.

China’s aviation market shrinks to smaller than Portugal’s due to COVID-19

China’s aviation market, projected to overtake the US this decade and become the world’s biggest, has shrunk to such an extent due to the coronavirus outbreak that it’s fallen from third to 25th, behind Portugal. Airlines have slashed capacity because of the epidemic centered in Hubei province, leaving the industry reeling. About 1.7 million seats — almost 80 per cent of capacity — were dropped from China services from Jan. 20 to Feb. 17 by global carriers, according to OAG Aviation Worldwide. Meanwhile, Chinese airlines cut 10.4 million seats domestically.

Singapore Airlines to cut flights as coronavirus epidemic hits demand

Singapore Airlines Ltd will temporarily cut flights across its global network in the three months to May, Reuters reported on Tuesday, as a coronavirus epidemic hits demand for services to the Asian city state, as well as through the key transit hub. Key affected destinations include Frankfurt, Jakarta, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Paris, Seoul, Sydney and Tokyo, the airline said on its website.

Hospital director dies in China’s Wuhan, epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

The head of a leading hospital in China’s central city of Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak, died of the disease on Tuesday, Reuters reported. Liu Zhiming, the director of Wuhan Wuchang Hospital, died at 10:30 a.m.

New virus has infected more than 73,000 people globally

A viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 73,000 people globally. The World Health Organization has named the illness COVID-19, referring to its origin late last year and the coronavirus that causes it.

The latest figures reported by each government’s health authority as of Tuesday in Beijing are; Mainland China: 1,868 deaths among 72,436 cases, mostly in the central province of Hubei; Hong Kong: 58 cases, 1 death, Macao: 10, Japan: 519 cases, including 454 from a cruise ship docked in Yokohama, 1 death, Singapore: 77 cases, Thailand: 35, South Korea: 31, Malaysia: 22, Taiwan: 22 cases, 1 death, Vietnam: 16 cases, Germany: 16, United States: 15 cases; separately, 1 US citizen died in China, Australia: 14 cases, France: 12 cases, 1 death, United Kingdom: 9 cases, United Arab Emirates: 9, Canada: 8, Philippines: 3 cases, 1 death, India: 3 cases, Italy: 3, Russia: 2, Spain: 2, Belgium: 1, Nepal: 1, Sri Lanka: 1, Sweden: 1, Cambodia: 1, Finland: 1 and one case in Egypt.

How many people have been discharged from hospital across China so far?

The state-run Xinhua news agency reported Monday that Hubei saw 1,223 patients discharged from hospital after recovery, bringing the total number of discharged patients in the province to 7,862. A total of 12,552 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery across China so far, it added.

After Wuhan, 406 are out of quarantine camp in Delhi

On Monday, 406 Indians who were quarantined after being evacuated from Wuhan in China were given certificates saying they had tested negative for coronavirus and were allowed to leave the facility in Chhawla. The group — 186 women, 209 men and 11 children — included a large number of medical students from the Hubei University of Medicine in Shiyan, around 450 km from the epicentre of the epidemic.

Two persons left the ITBP facility Monday while others are set to leave in the coming days. The ITBP has also offered to provide transportation till the airport, bus terminal or railway station.

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Earlier this month, 654 individuals were evacuated — 647 Indians and seven Maldivians — on two Air India flights from Wuhan, ground zero of the novel coronavirus outbreak. This marked the culmination of a complex 96-hour operation mounted by New Delhi that involved engaging with Beijing at multiple levels.

India to send medical supplies to Wuhan

India will also send a consignment of medical supplies to Wuhan on a relief flight later this week, and has tentatively scheduled the third round of evacuations of Indian nationals out of Wuhan and Hubei, the Embassy of India (EOI) in Beijing said on Monday.

The disease named COVID-19 emerged in December in Wuhan, Hubei’s capital, and the surrounding region has been put under lockdown to try to contain the outbreak. Transportation has been halted, thousands of hospital beds have been added, and military doctors and nurses have been deployed to staff facilities in the overwhelmed local health-care system.

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