Deaths hit new high in China’s virus epicentre


The number of people killed by the new coronavirus has risen to a daily high of 103 in Hubei province on Monday, taking the overall number of deaths since the breakout to more than 1,000.

But the number of new infections was down 20% from the day before.

Hubei’s health commission confirmed 2,097 new cases in the province on Monday, down from 2,618.

An advanced team of medical experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) has arrived in China.

There are now more than 42,200 confirmed cases across China, the gravest public health crisis the country has faced since the Sars outbreak in 2002-3.

In a rare public appearance amid the outbreak, China’s President Xi Jinping on Monday visited health staff in Beijing treating patients infected with the new coronavirus.

Mr Xi urged “more decisive measures” to combat the virus.

What’s the latest in China?

The Hubei provincial health commission said 103 people died from the virus in Hubei on Monday, up from 97 on Sunday.

The commission said Hubei had a total of 31,728 cases with 974 deaths by the end of Monday. The fatality rate was 3%.

The nationwide death count from the coronavirus is now at 1,011.

More than three-quarters of the deaths have been in Hubei’s provincial capital, Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak. The city of 11 million has been in lockdown for weeks.

A WHO-led international expert mission arrived in China late Monday to work with Chinese officials. The mission is led by Bruce Aylward, who oversaw the WHO’s 2014-2016 response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

President Xi wore a face mask to visit health workers in Beijing on Monday but is yet to visit Wuhan.

“We must have confidence that we will eventually win this battle against the epidemic,” he was quoted as saying.

Chinese president Xi Jinping has his temperature recorded during a trip to a hospital in Beijing
Image captionChina’s president has kept a low profile since the outbreak began

China’s leadership had already faced accusations of downplaying the severity of the virus – and initially trying to keep it secret, but the WHO has praised its efforts to control the virus, including quarantines on a massive scale.

What about the rest of the world?

Four new UK cases were announced on Monday – taking the total number of people infected in the UK to eight. The government has warned of a “serious and imminent threat”.

Meanwhile, 65 more people have tested positive on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship moored off Japan – meaning 135 out of 3,700 passengers have caught the virus.

Graphic showing cases of coronavirus cases outside China

US President Donald Trump said on Monday he believed the outbreak would disappear in April due to warmer weather, a theory not in line with health experts.


About Author

Comments are closed.