Coronavirus: global fears rise with deaths in Italy and Korea

Elias Hubbard
February 25, 2020

They said they were not included in the planning effort and wanted to know how the local community would be protected from the possible spread of the virus that has spread globally.

COVID-19 causes symptoms similar to pneumonia, ranging from the mild, such as a slight cough, to the more severe, including fever and difficulty breathing, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The National Health Commission also said in its daily update that China tallied 889 new cases, up from the previous day when it reported the lowest number of new infections in almost a month, fuelling hopes that the epidemic is nearing its peak.

After several days of more encouraging trends in infections, China's Communist Party newspaper warned that it would be mistake to think victory was in sight.

Beijing was already tackling a slowing economy before the virus struck and has closed many businesses, factories, tourist sites and travel routes in a bid to contain the epidemic. Epidemiologists call it the "basic reproduction number", and it indicates how contagious a virus is.

Ali Aghazadeh said the person who died was suffering from a heart problem, too.

That's not the case yet. A study in the Journal of Travel Medicine estimated that the reproduction number was slightly higher: around 3.3.

South Korea has become the newest front in a global outbreak, reporting Friday that 204 people had been infected, quadruple the number of cases it had two days earlier.

On February 13, the Hubei Health Commission reported a dramatic spike in cases - around 14,800 new cases in one day - after it started counting diagnoses made via CT scans.

The president of Lombardy said there were 39 confirmed cases in the region on Saturday, where 10 towns received orders to suspend nonessential activities and services. Officials also confirmed coronavirus cases in Tehran and the northern city of Rasht.

Chen Yulu, a deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, said policymakers had plenty of tools to support the economy, and were fully confident of winning the war against the epidemic. "Assuming that there is a relationship between the two, and that people are not hospitalized, not isolated for the first week of their symptomatic period, then that certainly is a key opportunity for onward transmission".

Chinese authorities have placed tens of millions of people under quarantine in central Hubei province, as well as restricting movements in other cities far from the epicentre, and closing schools nationwide. Residents of Wuhan are required to wear masks in public and undergo temperature checks before entering supermarkets. More than 1,200 people reportedly said they had suspicious symptoms.

Chinese doctors recently identified an asymptomatic woman from Wuhan who likely transmitted the virus to her family members.

Chinese researchers have also now confirmed that people can spread the virus without showing any symptoms.

As G20 finance ministers prepared to meet, the International Monetary Fund said it was too early to tell what impact the virus would have on growth.

Curing the virusinfected economy Senior Chinese central bank officials sought to ease global investors' worries about the potential damage to the world's second-largest economy from the virus outbreak, saying interest rates would be guided lower and that the country's financial system and currency were resilient.

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Twitter expressed concern on Saturday about cases with no clear link to China and called on all countries to invest urgently in preparedness.

That means funding screenings at airports, setting up facilities to isolate suspected patients, and stocking hospitals with protective equipment to prevent healthcare workers from getting sick.

Tokyo said it would cancel or postpone major indoor events for three weeks, Jiji news agency reported, as the city prepares to host the Olympic Games in July.

"We still have a chance to contain it", he said. "We are still trying to navigate a scenario with great uncertainty".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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