Int'l experts begin meetings in China over coronavirus outbreak

Grant Boone
February 18, 2020

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Chinese data "appear to show a decline in new cases" but any apparent trend "must be interpreted very cautiously".

Chinese state television said Liu Zhiming, the director of Wuhan Wuchang Hospital, died at 10:30 a.m, the seventh health worker to fall victim.

Fourteen American evacuees who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship and tested positive for the coronavirus landed in California Sunday and in Texas Monday on two charter flights, adding to the 15 already confirmed cases. "Every scenario is still on the table".

As of yesterday the ship had 542 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection, including four Taiwanese passengers.

Chinese health authorities stated that they have received reports of 1,886 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 98 deaths on Monday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

Among the deaths, 93 were in Hubei Province, three in Henan, and one in Hebei and Hunan respectively, according to the National Health Commission.

Fifteen people have recovered and returned home.

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The latest figures from China show there are more than 72,400 people infected in the country. In 14 percent of cases, the virus caused serious problems, including pneumonia and shortness of breath, while about five percent of the patients developed critical complications, such as respiratory failure, septic shock and multi-organ failure. Outside mainland China, there have been about 780 infections reported in almost 30 locations.

Over 1,700 people in China have died from the virus but Thailand has not recorded any fatalities so far.

As of yesterday afternoon, 175 of the people tested negative for COVID-19 and 22 were awaiting test results, the center said.

Japan announced plans to use HIV drugs to combat the virus as a growing number of cases posed an increasing threat to the world's third-largest economy, as well as public health.

The U.S. evacuated 328 American passengers, with majority placed in a 14-day quarantine at military bases in California and Texas.

The fatalities include a USA citizen.

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