Death toll in China coronavirus outbreak rises to 1,381

Marco Green
February 14, 2020

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.

The World Health Organization said it is normal for case definitions to "adapt to improved understanding" of a newly emerging infectious disease.

Health officials said that they looked into past suspected cases and revised their diagnoses, suggesting that older cases were also included in yesterday's numbers.

The overall death toll due to the deadly coronavirus on Friday increased to 1,380 in China, with 63,851 confirmed cases, authorities said. Across mainland China, there were 15,152 new confirmed infections on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 59,805.

FILE - Medical workers in protective suits attend to coronavirus patients at the intensive care unit (ICU) of a designated hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, Feb. 6, 2020.

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.

WATCH | Q&A: What is life like inside Wuhan?

China sacked two top officials in Hubei province hours after the new figures were revealed.

Ying worked closely with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the latter's time as party boss and governor of Zhejiang province.

Two of Hubei's senior health officials were also removed Monday. "It nearly certainly does not mean that there has been a resurgence of the epidemic overnight". The outbreak began in Wuhan late a year ago, and has spread throughout China.

The central province's health commission reported 116 more deaths and 4,823 new cases, the majority involving "clinically diagnosed" patients.

"We understand that most of these cases relate to a period going back over days and weeks and are retrospectively reported as cases, sometimes back to the beginning of the outbreak itself". The NHC did not account for a discrepancy of one case, as it had reported that the total accumulated number as of Tuesday was 44,653.

Many countries, including Turkey, have evacuated their citizens from the city of Wuhan - the epicenter of the virus - and other affected areas of China, placing them under quarantine and monitoring.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has ordered a lockdown on a community of 10,000 residents northwest of the capital Hanoi, becoming the first location outside of China to have ordered a quarantine for at least 20 days.

The United States is "deeply concerned" about the possible impact of a coronavirus outbreak in North Korea and is prepared to help U.S. and global organisations contain the spread of the virus, the State Department said on Thursday.

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine claimed a woman who wasn't showing symptoms triggered a chain of coronavirus infections.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen greeted the passengers with handshakes and bouquets of roses as they stepped off the ship and boarded a waiting bus.

In Cambodia, another cruise ship, the Westerdam, finally docked after being turned away by several Asian and Pacific governments.

According to the ship's operator, Holland America, none of the 1,400 passengers and 800 crew members were infected with the virus.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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