Coronavirus : China records 86 deaths in a day

The headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) is pictured in Geneva [Photo Credit: VOANEWS]

China recorded its deadliest day since the outbreak of coronavirus on Friday as 86 people died from the pneumonia-like illness that has been ravaging the country.

According to the China’s National Health Commission, a total of 722 people have died from the disease and 34,546 were infected in mainland China.

Majority of the new cases were recorded in Hubei province and its capital, Wuhan, which is the epicenter of the outbreak.

The 2019-nC0V originated from Wuhan in December, and by January had spread across China and so far to over 25 countries.

Though authorities in China have been making efforts containing the spread of the disease, new cases and deaths are still being reported on a daily basis.

Currently, there has been no clear knowledge of the nature of the disease, its origin or its transmission pattern.

When the disease first broke out, scientists said that natural host might have been bats and was transmitted to humans. It was also thought the disease could only be transmitted from animals to humans.

However, cases of human to human transmission of the disease have been proven and the youngest infected person was a newborn baby. There is no clear clue on how the baby got infected.

Global cases

While foreigners living in China are part of the infected population, the US Embassy in Beijing, confirmed the death of a 60-year-old US citizen who had died from the virus at Jinyintian Hospital, in Wuhan, on February 6.

This is the first confirmed death of a foreigner reported from China.

Meanwhile, more people on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship currently sitting in the Yokohama Bay of South Tokyo, Japan, have tested positive to the virus.

As of Friday, 41 new confirmed cases among the passengers of the ship was reported. Ten people had earlier tested positive for the virus on Wednesday and were taken to the hospital, while authorities waited for the test results of other passengers.

The ship has been held at the Japanese harbour since Tuesday, after the virus was detected in Hong-Kong from a man who had disembarked from the ship. The ship has about 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew on board.

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More cases are also being reported across many countries and there is no certainty of how soon the disease will be contained

Globally, more than 370 people have contracted the disease, though there is yet to be a confirmed case reported in Africa.

Travel ban

Although the World Health Organisation has said the disease has not reached a pandemic status, many countries are beginning to place restrictions on travels from China.

WHO, as of January 30, had declared the ongoing coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

This announcement led to many countries intensifying disease surveillance across their borders and some outrightly placed ban on foreigners travelling from China from entering.

Meanwhile, WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, had said there was no need for countries to ban international travel and trade from China.

The US was one of the first countries to place a restriction on foreigners from China from entering into its country. Other countries have also followed, while some placed partial ban.

Mr Ghebreyesus, briefing the status of the disease on Friday said to date, 72 countries have been identified to be implementing travel restrictions through official reports, official statements and the media.

“Of these, WHO received 23 official reports from countries about their travel restrictions,” he said.

However, Nigeria and most African countries are not part of the countries restricting travellers to and from China.

Though Africa has been strengthening its disease detection, diagnosis and treatment capacity with the help of WHO, some health experts are still faulting the free movement of passengers from China into Africa due to the fast spread, human to human transmission and the unknown nature of the disease.

Coronavirus factsheet


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