BEIJING (Agencies): The number of total infections in China’s coronavirus outbreak has passed 17,200 nationwide with 2,829 new cases confirmed, the National Health Commission said on Monday (Feb 3).
In its daily update, the commission said there had been 57 new deaths from the virus – all in hardest-hit Hubei province except one, bringing the national toll to 361, exceeding the country’s death toll from the 2002-03 Sars outbreak, which killed 349 people in mainland China.
In its daily update, figures from the health commission in Hubei, which has been hit hardest by the virus, also showed a sharp increase in confirmed infections with 2,103 new cases, bringing the death tolls in the province to 350, the local health commission said on Monday.
That puts the national total over 17,200, the National Health Commission said.
The new virus is believed to have emerged in December from a market that sold wild game in the Hubei provincial capital Wuhan.
Hubei has been under virtual quarantine, with roads sealed off and public transport shut down. Elsewhere, China has placed growing restrictions on travel and business. The province extended its Lunar New Year holiday break to Feb 13 in a bid to contain the outbreak.
The epidemic has ballooned into a global health emergency, with cases reported in more than 20 countries. The first death outside mainland China was confirmed on Sunday, when a 44-year-old man from Wuhan reportedly died in the Philippines.
The G-7 countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, all of which have confirmed cases of the virus – will discuss a joint response to the outbreak, Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn said later in the day.
Investors are bracing for a potential plunge in Chinese markets on Monday when onshore trade in stocks, bonds, yuan and commodities resumes following the Lunar New Year break and a steep global selldown on fears about the spread of the virus.
Looking to head off a panic, China’s central bank plans to inject 1.2 trillion yuan (RM709 billion) of liquidity into the markets via reverse repo operations on Monday.
Beijing also said it would help firms that produce vital goods resume work as soon as possible, state broadcaster CCTV reported. - AFP/Reuters