Economy

Virus death toll nears 1,400 in China, with 5,090 new cases

Virus death toll nears 1,400 in China, with 5,090 new cases”

In Hubei and its capital, Wuhan, where tens of millions of people have been trapped as part of an unprecedented quarantine effort, 242 new deaths were reported yesterday.

The United States is "deeply concerned" about the possible impact of a coronavirus outbreak in North Korea and is prepared to help USA and worldwide organisations contain the spread of the virus, the State Department said on Thursday.

China's death toll from the new coronavirus epidemic was revised downwards to 1,380 on Friday after officials said some fatalities had been counted a couple of times.

The number of new daily infections reported by Chinese authorities hit a peak last week. Of the 5,090 new cases, 3,095 fell into that category.

The epidemic has given China's ruling Communist Party one of its sternest challenges in years, constrained the world's second-largest economy and triggered a purge of provincial bureaucrats.

Japan confirmed its first coronavirus death on Thursday - a woman in her 80s living in Kanagawa prefecture near Tokyo.

The vast majority of the deaths are in mainland China, with only one death in Hong Kong, one in the Philippines and one in Japan.

The grim new tally came a day after China had reported its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in two weeks, bolstering a forecast by Beijing's senior medical adviser for the outbreak to end by April.

"We thought there was better transparency coming out of China, but it doesn't appear to be", Kudlow said.

A cruise liner quarantined off a Japanese port has more than 200 people confirmed with the disease.

A team of health officials will board the ship to conduct health checks on the 1,455 passengers and 802 crew members before they will be allowed to disembark.

A CCTV reporter stands near the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, February 13, 2020, in Yokohama, near Tokyo. The Westerdam cruise ship anchored Thursday off Cambodia for health checks on its 2,200 passengers and crew.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen greeted the passengers with handshakes and bouquets of roses as they stepped off the ship and boarded a waiting bus.

During a Thursday press conference about COVID-19, as the virus is now officially known, Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO's Health Emergencies Program, emphasized that the new figures don't represent a spike in infections but rather reflect a change in the way China is counting cases.

"I think they've handled it professionally, and I think they're extremely capable", Trump said in a podcast broadcast on iHeart Radio. He said the Geneva-based United Nations health agency was seeking "further clarity" from China about recent updates to its case definition and reporting protocol for the coronavirus disease outbreak.

On Thursday, the central government held a high-level meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang in which a further strengthening of the "control of outbound traffic" from Hubei Province and Wuhan was stressed to prevent the infection from spreading outside, according to official media. Local officials' concealment of the outbreak's severity and silencing of those who spoke up about it, including a doctor who later died from COVID-19, has sparked fury and demand for accountability across China.



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