Published: Sat, February 22, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

World Health Organization coronavirus team to visit Wuhan this weekend

World Health Organization coronavirus team to visit Wuhan this weekend

China reported 889 new cases of novel coronavirus infection on Friday, including more than 200 from a prison, and an additional 118 deaths - all but three in the province of Hubei, bringing the total deaths in the country to more than 2,200.

By the end of Friday, 68 confirmed cases including two deaths had been reported in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), 10 confirmed cases in the Macao SAR, and 26 in Taiwan including one death.

"We can win a complete victory over this virus", Zhang Hanhui reportedly said to Russian parliamentary official Ivan Melnikov.

Cases of the deadly virus were reported in a range of countries in the Middle East on Friday, including the first cases in Israel and Lebanon.

Italy has also announced 16 more cases and its health minister said schools and offices would be closed and sports events cancelled in the affected regions.

China has resumed counting only lab-confirmed disease in its new case counts, after including "clinically confirmed" cases - based on CT images of the presence of lower-respiratory infection - for the past week or so.

Hubei province, Ground Zero for the disease, had 411 of the newly confirmed cases and 115 deaths.

Kim said health officials were screening some 9,300 of the church followers who were in self-quarantine at their homes, and that about 540 have exhibited cough and other symptoms.

They said that differences in illness severity make some cases tough to detect.

Flight carrying Canadian cruise passengers from Japan on way home
The passengers repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have arrived at the Nav Centre in Cornwall . The Diamond Princess had more than half of the confirmed cases outside that country.

Italy has locked down ten towns and asked over 50,000 people to stay home amid a flurry of cases in the area - a move with echoes of China's lockdown of entire cities in Hubei province at the centre of the outbreak.

Cases in South Korea have risen eleven times since she was confirmed as the 31st case on Tuesday.

Tedros stressed though that the number of cases outside of China still remained "relatively small". In hard-hit South Korea, more than 120 members of Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a religious sect in the southern city of Daegu, have now been infected.

"A month into the outbreak, we have entered an emergency phase", Chung said.

Many nations have banned travellers from China and airlines have suspended flights to and from the country. There were 20 new cases reported Wednesday, 53 on Thursday and 100 on Friday.

The new cases show that the "implementation of our prevention and control measures have not been effective", Shandong Prison Administration Bureau Director Wu Lei (吳磊) said. Another 34 prisoners at Shilifeng Prison in the eastern Zhejiang province were also discovered to be infected, according to local officials.

Ghebreyesus said he and others were "wondering" about an impending uptick of reported cases outside of China.

Another death has been reported, in a doctor working at a Wuhan hospital, Xinhua, China's state news agency, reported today.

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