The death toll due to the coronavirus outbreak in China climbed to 908 after 97 more casualties were reported on Monday, the largest number of deaths recorded in a single day since the virus was detected in the city of Wuhan in December.
With more number of cases being reported outside China as well, the World Health Organisation has warned that it could be just “the tip of the iceberg”. Meanwhile, people across China returned to work, with the ruling Communist Party easing lockdown and restrictions imposed to curb the virus.
Here’s a wrap of everything that happened so far:
Coronavirus kills 908 in China, 3062 new confirmed cases
China’s National Health Commission (NHC) Monday said the death toll due to coronavirus rose to 908, reported Reuters. Across China, 3,062 new confirmed infections were reported, taking the total number so far to 40,171. China’s Foreign Ministry said 27 foreigners in the country were infected with the novel coronavirus as of Monday and two — one American and one Japanese — had died.
Coronavirus cases ‘tip of the iceberg’ outside China: WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) said the number of cases outside China could be just “the tip of the iceberg”, according to Reuters. An advance team of international WHO experts was en route to Beijing to investigate the outbreak. Wu Fan, vice-dean of Shanghai Fudan University Medical school, said there was hope the spread might soon stabilise.
“The situation is stabilising,” she said when asked about the spread in Shanghai, which has had nearly 300 cases and one death. However, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said there had been “concerning instances” of transmission from people who had not been to China.
Xi Jinping takes tour of Beijing to take stock of situation
Chinese President Xi Jinping, wearing a mask, toured Beijing city on Monday to oversee the efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak and said though the situation remained “very serious”. Xi, who mostly remained indoors while his No 2 Li Keqiang and other senior Communist Party officials toured affected areas, including virus-hit Wuhan, went on an inspection of the control work in Beijing.
UK declares coronavirus ‘imminent threat’
Britain declared the virus an “imminent threat” and said it would forcibly detain infected people if necessary. France tested 45 children and their parents after five British tourists contracted the virus at a ski resort.
65 new cases aboard Japan cruise ship
Tests aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan confirmed at least 65 more cases of coronavirus. The figure takes the tally on board to 135, showing a rapid rise in the number of cases on the ship docked in the port of Yokohama. Among the new 65 cases reported, 45 are Japanese and 11 Americans, Japan’s Health Ministry said.
India’s first coronavirus patient is recovering
India’s first coronavirus positive patient, currently admitted to the isolation ward at the Thrissur Medical College in Kerala, is on her way to recovery, a top source within the state health department confirmed Monday. A swab sample of the patient, sent for testing at the virology institute in Alappuzha, had come back negative, indicating that the viral infection has worn off. However, the source added that the same sample has been sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for a double-check.
Logistical nightmare: Indian envoy on evacuation from Wuhan
India’s efforts to evacuate its citizens from the coronavirus-epicentre Hubei province and its capital Wuhan were a logistical nightmare since the entire operation had to be done in a region sealed from all sides, Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri said on Monday.
As the news of the outbreak began emerging in the middle of January, the Indian Embassy stepped up efforts to locate hundreds of Indians, mainly students, residing hundreds of kilometres apart in the central Hubei province and Wuhan – the epicentre of the virus outbreak, Misri said. It was a logistical nightmare as data had to be collected about Indians stranded in the virus-hit areas while many left for home for the Chinese New Year holidays, he told PTI.
(Inputs from AP, Reuters)