China records deadliest day with 254 coronavirus fatalities

Henrietta Brewer
February 14, 2020

"The goal of the joint mission is to rapidly inform the next steps in the COVID-19 response and preparedness activities in China and globally", he said, referring to the medical name for the acute respiratory disease caused by the virus. In addition, China reported 13,332 clinically-confirmed cases in Hubei province, which is believed to be the epicentre of the outbreak.

On 7 February, the plight of medical workers was highlighted by the death of Li Wenliang, a doctor at Wuhan Central Hospital who had tried to issue the first warning about the virus on 30 December.

A total of 1,716 health care workers in China have contracted COVID-19 despite WHO's guidelines, so this weekend, a team of 12 worldwide and WHO experts will arrive in China to meet with local medical professionals for a "joint mission".

China's National Health Commission reported Friday that 1,716 health workers had been infected and six had died as of Tuesday, with the number of infected staff rising.

At least 1,355 people have now died and almost 60,000 have been infected in China after Hubei's health commission reported the new numbers.

Infections and deaths from the new virus in China ballooned for a second straight day Friday, on paper at least, as officials near the epicenter of the outbreak struggled to keep up with a backlog of patients' lab work.

"This outbreak could still go in any direction", WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said, the BBC reported on Thursday.

Most of the cases date back days and weeks but were retrospectively reported, the organization said.

"Naturally, under such special circumstances, People who can do the job better should be given the responsibility to do it", he said.

Outside China, there have been 505 cases in 24 countries, and two deaths.

"I think it's way too early to try to predict the beginning, the middle or the end of this epidemic right now", said Michael Ryan, head of WHO's health emergencies program.

The vast majority of cases are in China but reverberations from the outbreak were felt around the world, with hundreds of infections reported elsewhere.

"What criteria are we going to use to turn them off?"

Yesterday, some of the passengers on the Diamond Princess were allowed to disembark - with priority for older passengers confined to windowless cabins - and complete their quarantine on shore.

Vinh Phuc: Vietnam announced on Thursday that a commune of 10,000 people would be placed under quarantine due to fears over the spread of the new coronavirus.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday urged to improve medical insurance and aid system for major diseases, stressing that ensuring the safety and health of the people is the major task.

Other reports by iNewsToday