Coronavirus: China admits 'deficiencies' in response to virus

Henrietta Brewer
February 4, 2020

Efforts to track down and assess the travellers, who left Wuhan after the virus emerged, began last week as the crisis intensified, leading British Airways and Virgin Atlantic to suspend UK-China flights.

More than 7,000 health personnel joined the strike Tuesday, according to the Hospital Authority Employees' Alliance, the strike organizer.

In Hong Kong, hospital staff said the 39-year-old male victim had a pre-existing chronic illness and had visited Wuhan in January before falling ill.

On Saturday, he tested positive for the virus, according to CNN, joining the almost 12,000 people who had been infected at the time.

Hong Kong has also announced a coronavirus death, bringing the total fatalities outside of mainland China to two.

Hong Kong now has 17 confirmed infections, the majority people who were infected in mainland China.

With Wuhan and some other cities in virtual lockdown, travel severely restricted and China facing increasing worldwide isolation, fears of wider economic disruption are growing.

The US, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia have imposed similar restrictions despite criticism from China and WHO's guidance that such measures were unnecessary.

The fatality rate, at 2.1%, is basically stable, Jiao Yahui, a National Health Commission official, said at a news conference.

"It is necessary to strengthen market supervision, resolutely ban and severely crack down on illegal wildlife markets and trade", it added.

A volunteer stands in front of a Communist Party flag as he takes the temperature of a scooter driver at a roadside checkpoint in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, February 3, 2020. "Putting political considerations over people's health and safety, this, basically, is extremely vile".

China late on Monday allowed the first batch of an estimated 500 Taiwanese stranded in Wuhan, which has been locked down by the government as it tries to contain the spread of the virus, to return home.

A 1,000-bed field hospital in Wuhan built from scratch within two weeks to relieve overburdened medical facilities started receiving patients on Tuesday.

"China has noted that the United States has repeatedly expressed its willingness to provide assistance to China, and hopes that the relevant assistance will be provided soon", spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on the ministry's website.

In Taiwan, three passengers aboard a flight that arrived from Wuhan on Monday were being treated for fever and sore throat, but it was not immediately known if the symptoms were the result of the coronavirus. "So we are still confident, and there is no need for panic", Jiao stressed.

No new cases have been reported in the country since last Thursday.

But many provinces and major cities - including Shanghai - have called on companies to remain closed for an extra week.

The Shanghai stock market plunged nearly eight percent Monday on the first day of trading since the holiday as investors played catch-up with last week's global retreat.

Other reports by iNewsToday