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Coronavirus outbreak: WHO team visits Wuhan city as death toll in China jumps to 2,442

PTI Beijing | Updated on February 23, 2020 Published on February 23, 2020

A security guard uses a temperature gun to screen customers at a market in Shanghai, China.   -  Bloomberg

Ninety-six deaths were reported from Hubei province

Ninety-seven more people died in China due to coronavirus, taking the death toll to 2,442, officials said on Sunday, as a team of experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) visited the worst-affected Wuhan city in Hubei province.

By the end of Saturday, a total of 2,442 people had died of the disease and 76,936 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection had been reported in 31 provincial-level regions, China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said in its daily update on Sunday.

Ninety-six deaths were reported from Hubei province and one from Guangdong province on Saturday besides 648 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, it said.

Hubei province, where the virus first emerged in December last, reported 630 new confirmed cases, taking the total confirmed cases in the hard-hit province to 64,084, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The NHC also said China’s daily number of newly cured and discharged novel coronavirus patients has surpassed that of new confirmed infections for the fifth consecutive day, indicating that cases of infections are coming down.

 

Saturday saw 2,230 people walk out of hospital after recovery, much higher than the number of the same day’s new confirmed infections, which was 648, the media reported.

A total of 22,888 patients infected with the novel coronavirus had been discharged from hospital after recovery by the end of Saturday, NHC said.

Meanwhile, a team of public health experts from the WHO visited Wuhan on Saturday to conduct a detailed probe about the virus which reportedly originated from a seafood market in the city in December 2019.

The NHC said WHO experts along with their Chinese counterparts who formed a joint investigation team have held talks with the local health authority in Wuhan and visited relevant healthcare institutions.

The UN team comprises specialists from the United States (US), Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore and South Korea, media reports stated.

 

The 12-member team, which arrived in China on Monday, was initially designated to visit only Beijing, Guangdong and Sichuan provinces, while the worst-affected Hubei province and its capital Wuhan were missing from the list.

However, the team was finally given permission to visit Wuhan by the Chinese government.

Besides controlling the spread of the virus, a major task for the WHO team along with their Chinese counterparts was to come up with standard medicine to cure the disease.

The NHC said on Saturday that the team had met top Chinese respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan in Guangdong, and visited the centre for disease control and prevention in Guangdong and the city of Shenzhen, and Sichuan.

The specialists also discussed quarantine measures, the wild animal trade and community prevention measures with their Chinese counterparts, it said.

Published on February 23, 2020
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