The price from the novel coronavirus surged past 800 in China on Sunday, overtaking global fatalities within the 2002-03 SARS epidemic, whilst the planet Health Organization said the outbreak seemed to be “stabilising”.
With 89 more people dying — most in Hubei, the province at the centre of the outbreak — the toll is now above the 774 killed worldwide by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome nearly 20 years ago, consistent with figures from national health authorities.
The latest data came after the WHO said the last four days had seen “some stabilising” in Hubei but warned it had been “very early to form any predictions” and therefore the figures can still “shoot up”.
Almost 37,200 people in China have now been infected by the new coronavirus, believed to possess emerged late last year during a market that sold wild animals in Hubei’s capital Wuhan, before spreading across the state and to other countries.
Chinese police family into quarantine
A video circulating on social media shows people that had refused to self-quarantine being forcibly removed from an apartment by local officials within the city of Kunshan, as China battles the outbreak of a deadly new virus.
The epidemic has prompted the govt to lock down whole cities as anger mounts over its handling of the crisis, especially after a whistleblowing doctor fell victim to the virus.
With much of the country still not back at work after an extended Lunar New Year holiday, cities including Shanghai have ordered residents to wear masks publicly , and lots of regions faraway from Hubei are allowing just one person per household to travel out every two days to shop for supplies.
Michael Ryan, head of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, said the “stable period” of the outbreak “may reflect the impact of the control measures that are put in place”.
The first foreign victim in China was confirmed in the week when a 60-year-old American diagnosed with the virus died on Thursday in Wuhan, consistent with the US embassy.
A Japanese man in his 60s with a suspected coronavirus infection also died during a hospital within the city.
The only fatalities outside the mainland are a Chinese man within the Philippines and a 39-year-old man in Hong Kong .
Spectre of SARS
The new virus is from an equivalent family of coronaviruses as SARS although the deathrate is lower.
According to official figures, around 2,650 people are cured and discharged round the country — 600 more of them on Saturday.
China drew international condemnation for covering up cases within the SARS outbreak whereas the measures it’s taken this point are praised by the WHO.
But anger over Beijing’s approach erupted on social media in the week after the death of a Wuhan doctor who police silenced when he raised the alarm about the threat of an emerging virus like SARS in December.
Li Wenliang was working as an ophthalmologist in Wuhan when he observed patients with symptoms almost like those of the deadly SARS pathogen.
The doctor, 34, died early Friday, Wuhan Central Hospital said during a post on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform, after contracting the virus while treating a patient.
The government responded by sending its anti-graft body to launch an investigation.
In Hong Kong , China’s semi-autonomous southern financial hub where 299 people were killed by SARS, authorities on Saturday imposed a quarantine on people travelling from the mainland.
The city, with 26 confirmed cases, has been hit by a wave of panic-buying.
Similar scenes played call at Singapore as shoppers cleared grocery shelves after the city-state, which has 33 confirmed cases, raised its alert level over the virus.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned against misinformation, saying it made the work of healthcare staff harder.
“We’re not just battling the virus, we’re also battling the trolls and conspiracy theorists that push misinformation and undermine the outbreak response,” he said.
Hungarian police said Saturday that they had busted a network of “fake news” websites that reported alleged coronavirus-related deaths within the country, which is thus far freed from cases.
Fearing the virus could cause an economic slowdown in China — the world’s leading oil importer and consumer — a committee appointed by the OPEC club of petroleum-producing countries has recommended cuts in oil output.
Governments have hardened their defences, with several countries banning arrivals from China while major airlines suspended flights.
New cases have emerged abroad, with five British nationals, including a toddler , testing positive after staying at an equivalent ski chalet in France.
Asian cruise ships have also become a focus .
Sixty-four people on board the Diamond Princess off Japan’s coast have tested positive and therefore the ship’s passengers are asked to remain inside their cabins to stop new infections.