Published: Wed, February 12, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

WRAPUP 8-Coronavirus cases fall, experts disagree whether peak is near

WRAPUP 8-Coronavirus cases fall, experts disagree whether peak is near

Echoing the comparison with the fight against terrorism, China's state news agency Xinhua said late on Tuesday the epidemic was a "battle that has no gunpowder smoke but must be won".

The ministry's Command and Control Center (CCC) is following all the latest developments about the outbreak of the virus and is also coordinating with the relevant authorities to deal with the global issue.

Besides, amid optimism that the coronavirus epidemic in China might soon reach its peak and would likely to ease by March or April, the regional pan-European STOXX 600 gained as much 0.9 per cent to notch a new record closing high of 428.30.

The General Directorate of Passports added that any citizen found flouting the rule would be held accountable, while foreign residents would not be permitted to re-enter the country if they travelled to China.

According to data through Tuesday, the growth rate of new coronavirus cases in China has slowed to the lowest since January 30.

Other worldwide experts are alarmed at the outbreak of the flu-like virus, which has killed over 1,100 people in China.

The WHO said it does not recommend any specific health measures for travellers.

Hong Kong has reported seven more cases, raising its total to 36 after the virus spread at a family gathering attended by two relatives from mainland China.

And he pointed the finger at the local health care authority where the outbreak began for not doing enough to stop the spread of the virus.

The virus officially named "COVID-19" by WHO.

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World stocks, which had seen rounds of sell-offs over the virus, surged to record highs on hope for a peak in cases. ANZ Bank said first quarter growth may slow to between 3.2-4.0%, down from a projection of 5.0%.

Off Japan's port of Yokohama, the Diamond Princess cruise ship with 3,700 passengers and crew remained quarantined, with the number of confirmed cases at 135 - the largest single cluster of cases outside China.

The government of Hubei, the province at the outbreak's epicenter, dismissed the provincial health commission's Communist Party boss, state media said on Tuesday, amid mounting public anger over the crisis.

Asked about Zhong's prediction, Australia's chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, said: "I think it's far too premature to say that". It is suspected to have originated in a market illegally trading wildlife in the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan in December.

The city of 11 million people remains under virtual lockdown.

Travel restrictions that have paralysed the world's second-biggest economy have left Wuhan and other Chinese cities resembling ghost towns.

Apart from the coronavirus update, as Chinese workers were slowly returning back to work following a almost 15-day long Lunar New Year holidays, shares exposed to China trading had rumbled following weeks of tattering in the toils, while German bourse had also hit a record closing peak.

Company layoffs were beginning despite assurances by President Xi Jinping that widespread sackings would be avoided, as supply chains for global firms from carmakers to smartphone makers ruptured.

"But certainly as we watch this coronavirus outbreak unfold in China it could have an impact on how big, at least in this current year, the purchases are".

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