China Dispatches Some 25,000 Medics to Coronavirus-Hit Hubei Province

Andrew Cummings
February 15, 2020

China reported 5,090 new cases in mainland China, including more than 120 deaths, taking the number of infected to 63,851, and the number of deaths to 1,380.

The 80-year-old Chinese tourist who died in France was hospitalized January 25 with a lung infection, according to Health Minister Agnes Buzyn.

Wang also said that the prevention and control of the COVID-19 outbreak was now at its most crucial stage in China, while Wuhan still remains the main battlefield.

By the end of Friday, 56 confirmed cases including one death had been reported in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, 10 confirmed cases in the Macao SAR, and 18 in Taiwan.

There were contradictory reports about the timing of the tourist's illness.

The World Health Organisation has been accused of “delaying” its response to the coronavirus outbreak in an attempt to appease China

Simultaneously, "it is necessary to increase use of police force and strengthen the visible use of police", Xi said, calling for a crackdown on behaviour that "disrupts social order" including hoarding medical supplies.

When asked earlier about the spread of the virus, the Chinese foreign minister said: "Any assessment needs to be based on facts". Six others remained hospitalized.

Extended closures of factories and businesses prevented a flood of travel after the Lunar New Year holiday, normally the Chinese industry's busiest season, officials said at a news conference. Three other French are on the ship, which is in quarantine in Yokohama.

Germany's dpa news agency reported Saturday that two infected passengers on the quarantined Diamond Princess are German citizens, according to the German Embassy in Tokyo.

The virus emerged in central Hubei province in December before spreading across the country and some two dozen countries.

The virus has infected more than 67,000 people globally. The World Health Organization has called the virus a threat to global health.

Chinese authorities have placed some 60 million people under a strict lockdown, and have instituted controls across the country to fight the spread of the virus.

Twelve health experts from around the world will study symptoms and preventive measures with Chinese officials.

"Dawn is breaking and we are seeing light coming through", Wang said through a translator.

Business losses are so severe that forecasters have cut their outlooks for China's economic growth.

Meanwhile the White House economics advisor, Larry Kudlow, said he expected the virus to "maybe" knock 0.2-0.3% off the US GDP in the first quarter.

A man who visited Hawaii was confirmed to have coronavirus when he returned home to Japan, according to officials in Hawaii.

"Those who refuse to accept home or centralised observation and other prevention and control measures will be held accountable under the law", it said.

David Rising in Munich, Frank Jordans in Berlin and Colleen Barry in Milan contributed.

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