China reports 5090 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection, 121 new deaths

Henrietta Strickland
February 14, 2020

Authorities in the central Chinese province of Hubei say 242 more people have died in the outbreak of a new coronavirus that has killed more than 1,300 people since December.

"We've seen this spike in the number of cases reported in China, but this does not represent a significant change in the trajectory of the outbreak".

Another 2,450 new suspected cases were reported Thursday, said the commission.

Some 55,748 people are now undergoing treatment, while 1,380 people have died of the flu-like virus that emerged in Hubei province's capital, Wuhan, in December.

The latest toll takes account of some deaths that had been double counted in Hubei, the commission said. Health authorities said they will try to test people for infection, starting with those who are medically frail, and let them off the ship before Wednesday.

Experts believe the true scope of the outbreak could be higher.

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Chinese scientists are testing two antiviral drugs and preliminary results are due in weeks, while the head of a Wuhan hospital said plasma infusions from recovered patients had shown some encouraging preliminary results.

The death toll from the coronavirus is higher than the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2002-03, which is believed to have killed 774 people and sickened almost 8,100 in China and Hong Kong.

On Thursday Japan announced its first coronavirus death - a woman in her 80s who lived in Kanagawa, south-west of Tokyo.

The outbreak has wreaked havoc with global events, with the World Mobile Congress in Spain cancelled and the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens tournament and Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai postponed.

More than 64,600 people have now been infected in the country. All passengers have been confined to their cabins and will be not be allowed to leave the ship until February 19. Of those cases, more than 3,000 were "clinically diagnosed". It had anchored offshore earlier to allow Cambodian officials to board and collect samples from passengers with any signs of illness.

Thailand refused to allow the Westerdam to dock this week after it had already been turned away by the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan and Guam over virus concerns.

The overall confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland had reached 63,851 by the end of Thursday, and 1,380 people had died of the disease. The student, a man in his 20s, remains isolated in his off-campus housing and is being monitored by public health nurses, according to officials.

Economists are assessing the impact of the outbreak on the world's second-largest economy and scaling back their expectations for growth this year.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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