Coronavirus Death Toll Breaches 2,000 In China

Henrietta Strickland
February 19, 2020

Of the new deaths, 132 were reported from the worst-hit Hubei Province and one each from Heilongjiang, Shandong, Guangdong and Guizhou.

China's President Xi Jinping called Wednesday for greater protection of medical staff fighting the new coronavirus after the deaths of prominent doctors sparked national anger at the government's handling of the outbreak.

Authorities said 74,185 confirmed cases have been reported in the last 24 hours while 136 people have died.

He pointed out that unlike those who perished due to SARS, autopsies of the first two deaths in the recent outbreak reveal that their lungs did not exhibit significant pulmonary fibrosis, or thickened and stiff lung tissue, reported Sina.

"A 70-year-old male patient who was infected with the novel coronavirus deteriorated and succumbed in Princess Margaret Hospital this morning", the Hospital Authority said in a statement. Her husband and daughter are under quarantine but have not been found to be infected.

The deaths of frontline medical workers "reflected doctors' humane and majestic spirit", Xi said.

Although the number of new infections has fallen below 2,000 for a second day, Tuesday's death toll was higher than Monday's 98.

The coronavirus, now officially known as COVID-19, is said to have been transmitted to humans from animals, particularly bats.

A study released by Chinese officials claimed most patients have mild cases of the illness. The daily count of newly cured and discharged cases in Hubei, excluding the capital city Wuhan, has exceeded the number of newly confirmed cases for four consecutive days as of Wednesday, Mi told the media. Recently, Wuhan hospital director also passed away after suffering from the deadly disease.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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