China coronavirus death toll jumps to 361, more than 17,000 now infected

The worst hit Hubei province recorded more than 2100 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases in the central Chinese province to over 16600.
At least 56 people died of the novel Coronavirus on Sunday pushing the death toll from the outbreak to 361(REUTERS)
At least 56 people died of the novel Coronavirus on Sunday pushing the death toll from the outbreak to 361(REUTERS)
Updated on Feb 03, 2020 09:45 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Beijing | BySutirtho Patranobis

At least 56 people died of the novel Coronavirus on Sunday pushing the death toll from the outbreak to 361, health authorities have said.

The worst hit Hubei province recorded more than 2100 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases in the central Chinese province to over 16600.

More than 2800 new cases were reported nation-wide.

China now has at least 17205 confirmed cases of the virus across the country.

The new figures come a day after the first death from the virus was recorded outside China, of a Chinese citizen in the Philippines.

Several countries including India have evacuated hundreds of their nationals from Hubei and Wuhan.

Coronavirus-related numbers are set to surge this week as the millions begin their journey back to their places of work though several provincial governments have extended the Lunar New Year (LNY) holidays.

Scientists said the virus can spread from person to person even if someone is not showing the symptoms associated with it like fever and cough.

The incubation period (time of infection to the onset of symptoms) is up to two weeks and people may not know where or when they were infected.

Tens of millions continue to be in a state of lockdown in Hubei in an attempt to contain the spread of the virulent virus.

The spread of the virus has been confirmed in more than two dozen countries since the first cases were reported in a hospital in Wuhan in the last week of December.

Despite the lockdown and preventive measures taken across Hubei since January 23, Huanggang, a city neighbouring epicentre Wuhan recorded a significant increase of confirmed coronavirus cases, expected to be over 1,000 on Sunday and Monday.

“Authorities in Hubei reported on Sunday morning that there has been an increase of 1,921 new cases of infection on Saturday in the province, and Huanggang remained the second worst affected area regarding confirmed cases, as much of its 7.5 million population are outbound workers,” the tabloid Global Times reported.

“Ahead of Wuhan’s lockdown on January 23, about 600,000 to 700,000 people have returned to Huanggang, such massive migration made implementation of disease prevention and control measures more challenging, according to local official,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the novel coronavirus has 96% concordance with a bat-borne coronavirus, officials from Hubei have said.

Bats were among the wildlife being traded at the seafood and meat market in Wuhan where the virus is likely to have jumped from an animal to a human.

Medics from the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) will from Monday begin admitting patients to the new 1000-bed hospital built in nine days to treat those infected with the novel Coronavirus in Wuhan.

The new facility built in record time has 1,000 beds in 419 wards, including 30 intensive care units.

It was completed by more than 7,000 workers.

“At the peak of the massive project, more than 4,000 workers and about 1,000 construction machines and trucks worked on the site,” the state-run, China Daily newspaper said in a report Sunday evening.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021