Published: Sat, February 15, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Death toll in China epidemic surges past 1,500

Death toll in China epidemic surges past 1,500

The death toll in China's novel coronavirus epidemic has climbed to 1,523 with 143 new fatalities reported mostly from the worst-affected Hubei province while the confirmed cases jumped to over 66,000, health officials said on Saturday.

More than 25,000 doctors from all parts of China have, meanwhile, arrived in the province of Hubei to help their colleagues fight the outbreak of a new coronavirus, Deputy Director of the NHC Wang Hesheng said on Saturday.

The health commission from the central Chinese province, the epicenter of the outbreak, also disclosed 2,420 fresh cases of the COVID-19 strain, half the number from the previous day.

It was not immediately clear how the restriction, relayed by the official Beijing Daily newspaper, would be enforced, or whether it would apply to non-residents of Beijing or foreigners arriving from overseas.

In China alone, more than 63,000 people have been infected with the virus, and 1,381 have died.

With all public transport, taxis and ride-hailing services shut down in the city, volunteer drivers are responding to requests on ad hoc messaging groups to ferry medical staff and others in vital jobs to and from work, risking their own health.

International Business Machines Corp said on Friday it had canceled its participation in the RSA cyber security conference in San Francisco due to coronavirus-related concerns.

Samsung Galaxy A20s gets another price cut in India
We'll let you know what that is when Samsung tells us, but for now, it's just something that's coming in the near future. We're hoping Samsung will replenish stock, but you'll have to keep checking repeatedly lest stocks run out again.

The Mobile World Congress, the annual telecoms industry gathering in Barcelona, was also cancelled after a mass exodus by exhibitors.

The biggest cluster of infections outside China has been on a cruise liner quarantined in a Japanese port, with 218 people on board confirmed as infected and taken to hospital.

A top Chinese official, in an interview with Reuters, acknowledged that the coronavirus was a huge challenge, but defended the government's management of the epidemic and lashed out at the "overreaction" of some countries.

The virus is killing around 2% of those infected, but has spread faster than other respiratory viruses that emerged this century.

Egypt reported its first case of the coronavirus on Friday, becoming the first country in the African continent to confirm a case, and the second in the Middle East region, after the United Arab Emirates diagnosed its first cases late last month. One person has died in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.

"We're seeking further clarity on how clinical diagnosis is being made to ensure other respiratory illnesses including influenza are not getting mixed into the COVID-19 data", World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Friday.

Thailand has recorded one new case of coronavirus, bringing the total in the country to 34 since January, a health ministry official said today.

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