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17 February, 2020 11:46:36 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 17 February, 2020 10:45:38 PM
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Coronavirus death toll jumps to 1,770

The number of infected in China passed 70,000
Independent Online/ AFP
Coronavirus death toll jumps to 1,770
People wearing protective face masks cross a street in Tokyo, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. Photo: AP

The death toll from China s new coronavirus epidemic jumped to 1,770 after 105 more people died, the National Health Commission said Monday.

More than 70,500 have now been infected nationwide by the virus, which first emerged in December in central Hubei province before spreading across the country.

Chinese authorities have placed about 56 million people in Hubei and its capital Wuhan under quarantine, virtually sealing off the province from the rest of the country in an unprecedented effort to contain the virus.

New cases outside of the epicentre have been declining for the last thirteen days.

There were 115 fresh cases outside the central province, according to the commission on Monday -- sharply down from nearly 450 a week ago.

Local authorities elsewhere in China have introduced measures to try and stop the virus spreading, including a rule in Beijing requiring people coming to the capital to self-quarantine for 14 days, according to official media.

Most cases are still in Hubei, where nearly 2,000 were reported Monday.

The number of reported infections ballooned on Thursday last week after Hubei authorities changed their criteria for counting cases, retroactively adding 14,000 cases in a single day.

Monday s figures for new cases were around 100 higher than those on Sunday but still sharply down on those from Friday and Saturday.

A spokesman for China's national health authority said that the slowdown was a sign the outbreak was being controlled.

However, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned it is "impossible to predict which direction this epidemic will take".

International experts have arrived in Beijing and begun meeting with their Chinese counterparts over the epidemic, Tedros said on Twitter.

Global worries about its spread remain high and the epidemic s reach was highlighted by the US announcing that more than three dozen Americans from a cruise ship quarantined off Japan were infected.

China virus cases pass 70,000 

The number of people infected with the new coronavirus in China passed 70,000 on Monday as international experts began meetings with their Chinese counterparts on how to tackle an epidemic that has caused global concern.

The death toll jumped to 1,765 in mainland China after 100 more people died in Hubei province, where the virus first emerged in December before spreading across the country and overseas.

Worries about its spread remain high and the epidemic s reach was highlighted by the US announcing that more than three dozen Americans from a cruise ship quarantined off Japan were infected.

The number of new cases of the COVID-19 strain spiked last week when officials in Hubei changed their criteria for counting cases to include people diagnosed through lung imaging.

The number of new cases in the province on Monday was around 100 higher than those on Sunday but still sharply down from those reported on Friday and Saturday.

The latest figures came as the head of the World Health Organization said international experts in a WHO-led joint mission had arrived in Beijing and had had their first meeting with their Chinese counterparts.

"We look forward to this vitally important collaboration contributing to global knowledge about the #COVID19 outbreak," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter.

Mi Feng, National Health Commission spokesman, said Sunday that slowing case numbers nationally showed that China was controlling the outbreak.

But Tedros has warned it is "impossible to predict which direction this epidemic will take".

The UN health body has also asked China for more details on how diagnoses are being made.

TH

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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