Published: Sun, February 16, 2020
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

An 80-year-old man in France has become the first person in Europe to die from the coronavirus.

China reported 2,641 new cases in the 24 hours through midnight Friday, raising its total to 66,492.

Over 64,000 cases of the disease have been recorded worldwide, with about 1,400 deaths.

Fan Yifei, deputy governor of China's central bank, said Saturday that banks have been urged to provide new banknotes to customers whenever possible.

The number of new confirmed cases has been steadily falling outside Hubei.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of World Health Organization, urged governments to step up their efforts to prepare for the virus, saying "it's impossible to predict which direction this epidemic will take". This is significant as coronavirus draws similarities to SARS, which had two outbreaks in 2002 and 2003 killing 774 people, and also attacks the lungs in the same manner as Covoid-19.

Meanwhile, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the global joint mission with China on the novel COVID-19 is moving forward, with the full team expected to reach China over the weekend.

The virus, now called COVID-19, has infected more than 67,000 people globally and killed at least 1,527, the vast majority in China.

He said he was concerned by the continued increase of cases in China as well as "the lack of urgency in funding the response from the worldwide community".

Last month the warmest January recorded on Earth, US agency says
Until now, 2016 was the hottest year with the global-average temperature being 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.99 degrees Celsius. In the preceding 12 months - February 2019 to January 2020 - average temperatures were well above the 1981-2010 average.

"We must use the window of opportunity we have to intensify our preparedness", he added. "We don't know how much time".

China's government suspended most access to Wuhan, the city at the center of the outbreak, on January 23.

The virus spread last month as millions travelled across the country for the Lunar New Year holiday, which was extended by three days - more than a week in some cities - in an effort to prevent further contagion. But it was not immediately clear how that would be enforced, or whether the restrictions would apply to non-residents or foreigners arriving from overseas.

As part of measures to contain coronavirus, Beijing has ordered everyone returning to the city to go into quarantine for 14 days or risk punishment. It said people who fail to comply will face legal consequences but gave no details.

Minister Agnes Buzyn says Saturday that "I was informed last night of the death of an 80-year-old patient who had been hospitalized. since January 25".

"His daughter also has the COVID19 virus and is also hospitalised at Bichat, her health condition is not causing concern anymore and she should be released soon".

In Japan, the U.S. Embassy said a chartered aircraft will arrive late Sunday to fly home Americans aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess in Yokohama, near Tokyo. Those with symptoms won't be allowed on the planes. Japan's Health Ministry allowed 11 passengers to disembark Friday.

"We're concerned by the continued increase of the number of cases in China", he added. Health authorities said the new method would facilitate earlier treatment. Six health workers have died since the outbreak began.

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