China sacks officials in Hubei as coronavirus infections hit 68,500


  • ASEAN+
  • Sunday, 16 Feb 2020

A policeman wearing a face mask directs a bus at a tumor hospital newly designated to treat virus patients in Wuhan in Hubei. Several officials in Hubei, the Chinese province hardest-hit by the Covid -19 (coronavirus) outbreak, lost their jobs over their handling of the crisis as the number of infections in the country reached 68,500 on Sunday (Feb 16). - AP

WUHAN: Several officials in Hubei, the Chinese province hardest-hit by the Covid -19 (coronavirus) outbreak, lost their jobs over their handling of the crisis as the number of infections in the country reached 68,500 on Sunday (Feb 16).

Over 2,000 new infections were confirmed in the previous 24 hours, the National Health Commission said. Deaths from the Covid-19 disease now stand at 1,665, after 142 new deaths were recorded, 139 of them in Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak.

The rate of people diagnosed with the Sars-CoV-2 virus dropped slightly in Hubei, although the death toll there remained as high as in previous days.

Over the last 24-hour period, 1,843 new cases of the respiratory illness caused by the virus were reported, Hubei's health commission said, down from 2,420 the previous day.

Most of the deaths and infections occurred in the city of Wuhan, where the virus was first detected in December.

More than half a dozen political officials in Hubei were dismissed for failing to control the outbreak, according to a notice published Sunday by the Communist Party's discipline and inspection committee in the province.

Although relatively minor officials, their dismissal signals that China's leadership is attempting to meet public anger over mishandling of the crisis and distance themselves from the poor performance of local bureaucrats.

Outside of mainland China, four people have died of Covid-19 so far. France on Saturday reported the first death in Europe, a Chinese tourist from Hubei.

The French Health Ministry announced later on Saturday that a 12th coronavirus case had been diagnosed in the country, but the patient's position was currently "not of concern".

The patient, a British national, had been staying in a chalet in the Alpine ski resort of Contamines-Montjoie where a cluster of six other cases had already been diagnosed.

In Japan, health authorities on Sunday reported 70 new coronavirus cases on a cruise ship quarantined at Yokohama port.

In total, 355 passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess are infected, broadcaster NHK quoted Health Minister Katsunobu Kato as saying.

Cambodian authorities meanwhile requested that Malaysia double-check the test result of a US cruise passenger who they said was infected with the coronavirus, local media reported.

After being allowed to disembark from the cruise ship in Cambodia, the woman flew to Malaysia, where the infection was detected.

The cruise line said it was waiting for secondary testing to confirm the woman’s positive result. - dpa/Asian News Network
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Wuhan , Officials , Sacked , Covid-19 , Outbreak

   

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