Coronavirus: China announces drop in new cases for third straight day

James Marshall
February 16, 2020

The vast majority of those suffering from the virus are in China, the epicentre of the outbreak.

The warning comes as the first European death from a coronavirus patient was announced today.

Medical workers account for about 3.8% of confirmed cases, Mr Zeng added. "11,053 people are in critical condition, 1,523 have died, 8,096 people have been discharged from hospitals", the statement said.

About 600 cases of the virus have been confirmed outside mainland China along with three deaths, one each in the Philippines and Hong Kong and a Japanese woman in her 80s.

But state media published Saturday evening a speech Xi delivered February 3 in which he said he gave instructions on fighting the virus as early as January 7.

"Those who refuse to accept home or centralised observation and other prevention and control measures will be held accountable under the law", it said.

More than 66,000 people are now infected from the virus in China, health officials said. Eighteen have fully recovered and have left hospital.

State Councillor Wang Yi, who also serves as China's foreign minister, said China had taken decisive measures to fight the epidemic, many going beyond global health regulations and World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations. "China has bought the world time".

"But if you go back to the old way of counting cases, in the last few days there has been a reduction in the number of confirmed cases and if that trend in the cases we know about is reflected in the cases we don't know about, maybe we are getting it under control". "We're encouraged that outside China, we have not yet seen widespread community transmission".

Much of the response has focused on the hard-hit province of Hubei and its capital Wuhan, where the outbreak began. The city is all but sealed off from the rest of the country.

Authorities have ordered all people returning to Beijing to place themselves under self-quarantine at home for two weeks.

But local authorities have struggled to provide protective equipment such as respiratory masks, goggles and protective suits to hospitals in Hubei.

Jiao Yahui, also a senior official at the National Health Commission, said that the combination of traditional and western medicines have shown supportive results.

The party should "strengthen areas of weakness and close up loopholes" after the epidemic exposed "shortcomings and deficiencies", President Xi Jinping said at a meeting of party leaders Friday, according to state media.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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