China's virus death toll spikes, more than SARS

Yolanda Curtis
February 3, 2020

More than 7,500 labourers worked around the clock to construct Huoshenshan Hospital, which was modelled on a facility set up in China's capital, Beijing, in 2003 to help tackle an outbreak of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome.

There are now two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Russian Federation, both Chinese citizens.

On 23 January, the USA ordered the departure of all non-emergency United States personnel and their family members from Wuhan in Hubei province, where the virus originated.

Mongolia, Russia and Nepal have closed their land borders, while semi-autonomous Hong Kong announced Monday it was closing all but two land crossings.

Philippines Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III confirmed that it was an imported case of the virus with no evidence of local transmission.


The virus has since spread to more than 24 countries despite many governments imposing unprecedented travel bans on people coming from China.

In a response to a query regarding updates on Coronavirus submitted by Leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala, the Minister said: "Before it, there were two positive cases - both medical students who were studying in Wuhan".

Asked whether the US had offered assistance in containing the epidemic as reported by media outlets over the past few days, Hua said that as far as she knew, the USA government has not offered any "substantial help", although many countries have offered donations and assistance.

Health officials from the Phillipines have confirmed that a 44-year-old man has died from the coronavirus, the first reported fatality related to the illness outside of China.

China's National Health Commission reported 2,829 new cases and 57 additional deaths for a total of 361 on Monday morning.


There have been 12 confirmed cases in Australia - four in NSW, four in Victoria, two in Queensland and two in South Australia. The husband recently traveled to Wuhan; the wife did not, making this case a person-to-person transmission.

The World Health Organization declared last week that the rapid spread of the virus is a public health emergency of global concern. Compounding the problem is a shortage of medical kits and supplies, according to The Times. All territories and provinces in China have now been infected by the coronavirus.

With no end in sight to the outbreak, authorities in Hubei and elsewhere extended the Lunar New Year holiday break, due to end this week, well into February to try to keep people at home and reduce the spread of the virus. All Hubei schools are postponing the start of the new semester until further notice.

Those who returned from China after January 1 should report to government hospitals and refrain from attending public events, the state health department urged.

Chinese ambassador in Sri Lanka Cheng Xueyuan expressed worries over Chinese people being turned away by restaurants and taxis in the Indian Ocean island nation. However, we need to take into mind that this is not a locally acquired case.


The crisis is the latest to confront Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who has been beset by months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong, the reelection of Taiwan's pro-independence president and criticism over human rights violations in the traditionally Muslim territory of Xinjiang. Meanwhile, the domestic economy continues to slow, weighed down by slowing demand and the trade war with Washington.

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