China coronavirus death toll jumps past 400

Cheryl Sanders
February 4, 2020

The Department of Health said there were now two confirmed infections in the Philippines, including the man from Wuhan in Hubei province, the centre of the outbreak, who died yesterday.

The toll in China rose to 425 as of the end of Monday, up by a record 64 from the previous day, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday.

So far, 328 people have recovered and have been discharged from the hospitals since the outbreak in late December.

The death of the 39-year-old man in Hong Kong came as the semi-autonomous city closed all but two land crossings with the Chinese mainland to slow the spread of the virus. The death was reported hours after Philippine's President Rodrigo Duterte was to issue a travel ban on all non-Filipino citizens from China, including Hong Kong and Macau.

But, efforts of containment, which continues to be the main narrative around the coronavirus outbreak, were poor from both China and nearby countries like South Korea.

According to state media, Xi demanded "resolute opposition against bureaucratism and the practice of formalities for formalities' sake in the prevention work", adding that those who disobeyed would be punished.

The youngest victim, a 36-year old man from Wuhan, was hospitalised on January 9 and died of heart failure two weeks later, Hubei health authorities said, without offering details on whether he had any pre-existing medical conditions.

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak an worldwide emergency.

The United States, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand and Vietnam are among countries that have denied entry to foreign nationals who have recently been in China. The South China Morning Post reports with reference to a statement by the Ministry of Agriculture of China.

Authorities in China have taken dramatic measures to halt transmission, while other affected countries have put in place steps to rein in the spread.

The Doha-based carrier said on its website that its flights would stop on Monday.

Chinese data suggests the new virus, while much more contagious than SARS, is significantly less lethal, although such numbers can evolve rapidly.

A Belgian person who was one of hundreds of Europeans repatriated from the Chinese city of Wuhan via France at the weekend has tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Tuesday.

Chinese official do not know exactly how the virus could have been transmitted from animals to people, but believe open-air markets in China, where wild and domesticated animals are sold, may be a contributor.

Economists are predicting world economic output will be cut by 0.2 to 0.3 percentage point. It is expected to open Monday and includes 1,000 beds, intensive care units and sections for diagnosis and infection control, China's state news agency Xinhua reported.

Countries continued to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan.

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