Health Care

China's new virus cases fall again, deaths now exceed 1100

China's new virus cases fall again, deaths now exceed 1100”

China's leadership touted "positive results" Wednesday from efforts to contain the new coronavirus epidemic, but warned it still faced a "large-scale war" against the outbreak as the death toll passed 1,100.

The number of people infected on a cruise ship off Japan, meanwhile, rose to 174 - the biggest cluster outside the Chinese mainland.

ANZ Bank said China's first-quarter growth would probably slow to 3.2% to 4.0%, down from a projection of 5.0%.

China is still increasing measures to prevent further spread of the virus as more people return to major cities.

"The number of newly confirmed cases reported from China has stabilized over the past week, but that must be interpreted with extreme caution", said WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

A citizen journalist reporting on the epidemic in Wuhan has disappeared, activists said, becoming the second to vanish in recent days amid tightening controls on information in China. "I can't say. But I think it's at its peak in mid- to late-February", he said.

In Geneva, World Health Organization officials warned against reaching premature conclusions on the Chinese data.

The number of new cases has trended down in the past week, raising hopes that the epidemic may be plateauing.

Echoing the comparison with the fight against terrorism, China's state news agency Xinhua said late on Tuesday the epidemic was a "battle that has no gunpowder smoke but must be won". He confessed that the coronavirus has proven to be more contagious than medical experts predicted, but there is already a gradual reduction in viral infection numbers in several parts of the country.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, reiterated Tuesday that the risk to people in Canada - including people living near CFB Trenton in Ontario, where individuals who were repatriated from China are living under quarantine - remains low.

The WHO chose to name the virus Covid-19 in keeping with guidelines aimed to avoid linking a disease to an animal or a geographic location.

At a conference in Geneva on combating the virus on February 11, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyes urged countries to work together against the "grave threat" posed by the outbreak.

A salesperson in the store's home appliance section was the first diagnosed on Jan 31, Xinhua said, and a series of cases followed.

Including China, more than 45,100 people worldwide have been infected with the virus.

The case of a British man who passed on the virus to at least 11 other people - without having been in China - has raised fears of a new phase of contagion overseas.

U.S. chip giant Intel, Facebook, Chinese phone maker Vivo, and Cisco, meanwhile, have all withdrawn from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona over coronavirus fears, joining other industry heavyweights pulling out of the world's top mobile fair.

Japan's Health Ministry said that 39 new cases have been confirmed on a cruise ship quarantined at Yokohama, bringing the total to 174 on the Diamond Princess.

The 53-year-old man was infected while attending a conference in Singapore and then passed it on to several compatriots on holiday in the French Alps, before finally being diagnosed back in Britain.

Global conferences are also being affected, with this week's Singapore Air Show - Asia's biggest - badly hit by exhibitors withdrawing and low attendance.

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