Coronavirus: Death Toll Hit 2,000

Grant Boone
February 26, 2020

Chinese health authorities released a study yesterday on over 70,000 confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases.

The number of new cases rose almost 5% from the previous day, but the number of deaths fell from 139 on Saturday. But doubts remained about the true trajectory of the epidemic as China again changed its method of counting and new threats emerged outside the country.

It said the death rate from the disease for males was 2.8 per cent and that for females was about 1.7 per cent.

The city was carrying out "very good public health practice" with door-to-door surveillance, said Michael Ryan, head of WHO's health emergencies programme. He pleaded for help from the country's central government.

At least seven medical workers have died from the virus, while 1,716 have been confirmed as infected, most at the epicentre of the epidemic in central Hubei province where hospitals have dealt with a huge influx of patients.

The latest figures bring the total number of cases in China to over 74,000 with 2,004 deaths, three quarters of which have occurred in the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan.

The numbers appear encouraging, said Mark Woolhouse, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at Britain's University of Edinburgh, who described himself as cautious.

China's daily new confirmed cases dropped to 1,886 on Monday, for the first time under 2,000 since January 31.

In Japan, about 500 passengers who tested negative for the virus departed the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship Wednesday. Six deaths have been confirmed outside the mainland - two in Hong Kong and one each in Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines and France.

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Also over 100 cities in China have adopted QR codes to facilitate the control of the novel coronavirus and work resumption, fintech firm Ant Financial said on Wednesday.

Economists are warning of potential mass layoffs in China later this year if the virus is not contained soon.

In Hubei too the cases are coming down, it said.

Hubei reported 1,693 new cases as of Tuesday, down from 1,807 the previous day and the lowest number in the province since February 11.

"We are pressing the Japanese authorities to allow them all to come down", Lee said.

The debarment comes out to be one of the most harshest moves against foreign media by the country.

The US has flown home more than 300 American evacuees from the ship and other countries are queuing up to collect their citizens, including Australians. The city of 11 million population where the virus was detected past year is under virtual lock-down. Authorities halted almost all transportation and movement except for quarantine efforts, medical care, and delivery of food and basic necessities.

"Wartime" measures were implemented in some places, with residents prevented from leaving their apartments.

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