Coronavirus claims over 1,000 lives in China

Beijing: Chinese health authorities on Tuesday said the death toll due to the novel coronavirus in China has increased to 1,016, with 42,638 infected cases.

According to China’s National Health Commission, 7,333 serious cases had been recorded as of Monday midnight, while 3,996 people were discharged, reports Efe news.

The Commission said it had tracked 428,438 patients in close contact with those infected, of which 187,728 are still under observation.

Of the latter, 21,675 are suspected of having contracted the virus.

At 108, Tuesday’s data reflects the largest increase in the number of deceased in a single day, in addition to surpassing the 1,000-death mark.

A further 2,478 people were added to the list of new infections.

Monday marked the beginning of a slight slowdown in the number of new infected registered daily, according to official statistics, which said another 716 patients were also discharged on Tuesday.

Of the 108 deaths, 103 occurred in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital and also epicentre of the outbreak, and has remained in de facto quarantine since January 23.

The remaining five cases were reported from Beijing, Tianjin, Heilongjiang, Anhui and Henan.

Hubei also holds 2,097 of the 2,478 new cases.

To date, all but two deaths – in the Philippines and Hong Kong – have occurred in mainland China and, although about 20 countries have identified cases, China accounts for about 99 per cent of those infected.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, on Monday called on the international community not to politicise the coronavirus response.

Ghebreyesus described the outbreak as a “common enemy against humanity” and said all countries need to work together to defeat it.

Meanwhile, international scientists will meet on Tuesday to accelerate the development of diagnoses, treatments and vaccines against the disease.