Hubei reports 65 new deaths, Ecuador announces its first case

Henrietta Strickland
February 5, 2020

On Sunday the Philippines reported the death of a Chinese man who had come from Wuhan, the central city at the epicentre of China's health emergency.

But the United Nations health agency's chief also called for greater solidarity, accusing some governments of wealthy countries of being "well behind" in sharing data on virus cases.

A new study published Monday in the journal Nature said experts from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which specializes in the study of viruses, say the new virus is 96% genetically identical to a virus found in bats in southern China's Yunnan province.

The city is only 175 kilometres (110 miles) southwest of the financial hub of Shanghai, which has reported more than 200 cases, including one death.

The head of the organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, accused wealthy countries of falling short on their duties in sharing data, stating that: "Of the 176 cases reported outside China so far, World Health Organization has received complete case report forms for only 38 percent".

Hong Kong now has 17 confirmed infections, the majority people who were infected in mainland China. Four people in Singapore contracted the illness either from a tour guide or at a health store while three people in Japan contracted the virus from a bus driver.

Over 2.52 lakh who were in close contacts with patients had been traced with over 1.85 lakh others still under medical observation, it added. The symptoms of infection include fever, cough and breathing problems. Two to 3 percent of the patients are experiencing diarrhea. Severity of the illness ranges from mild to severe disease resulting in death.

This handout photo taken and released on February 4, 2020 by Malaysia's Ministry of Health shows health workers putting on protective suits as Malaysian nationals arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, after being evacuated from China's Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Other countries have rushed to evacuate their citizens from Hubei and its capital city, Wuhan, while many have also imposed extraordinary travel restrictions on travellers to and from China.

"We believe overreaction by adopting restriction, isolation, and blocking measures are not beneficial to global collaboration and such measures may lead to more complicated outcome and interference in prevention control efforts", China's representative added.

Meanwhile, the Chinese gambling territory of Macau announced Tuesday that it will temporarily shut down all casino operations for two weeks to help curb the spread of the virus.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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