China says significant drop in coronavirus cases; death toll climbs to 1,665

Clay Curtis
February 16, 2020

The new cases brought the total to 68,500 in mainland China, with 1,665 deaths including 143 reported on Sunday.

New confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus pneumonia outside Hubei Province have been dropping for 12 consecutive days.

The mortality rate remained stable with 142 new deaths, the commission said, raising the death toll from COVID-19, a disease caused by a new coronavirus, to 1,665. Another 9,419 people have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

Many countries have also placed travel restrictions on recent visitors to China.

"In Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic, the proportion of severe cases among the confirmed cases fell from a peak of 32.4 per cent on January 28 to 21.6 per cent on February 15", Mi Feng, a spokesperson with the NHC said during a media briefing here.

So far, the TCM has been administered towards the treatment of more than half of the confirmed cases reported in Hubei, the worst affected province with more than 66,000 confirmed coronavirus cases reported so far.

The authorities and medics are carrying out differentiated measures on the patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, close contacts of the confirmed cases, and fever patients, he said.

New coronavirus cases drop for 12th consecutive day outside China's Hubei province

"We're concerned by the lack of urgency in funding the response from the global community", Tedros said.

In Japan, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said that an additional 70 cases were found on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship for a total of 355.

Meanwhile, outside China, there have been more than 500 cases in almost 30 countries.

Chinese state media published an internal speech delivered by President Xi Jinping on Saturday in which he describes taking action on the coronavirus outbreak as early as January 7. Canadian, Italian, South Korean and Hong Kong passengers were expected to follow after their governments also announced plans to repatriate passengers. The clinical diagnosis is based on doctors' analyses and lung imaging and is meant to allow probable cases to be treated as confirmed ones without the need to wait for a lab result.

The speech also seems to indicate the country's top leaders were slow to release information about the severity of the virus. In apparent response, the Communist Party's top officials in Hubei and Wuhan were dismissed and replaced last week. Around 400 American citizens will disembark, and those that have either not been infected or are not showing symptoms of the virus will return to the USA on chartered flights. People with symptoms were to be banned from the flights. But those who boarded the plane would have to endure another 14-day quarantine, this time at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California or Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas, when arriving back on U.S. soil.

An 83-year-old American woman who was a passenger on a cruise ship docked in Cambodia has tested positive twice for the virus after leaving the ship. Many factories have yet to re-open, disrupting supply chains in China and beyond. Her husband continues to test negative.

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