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Chinese virus death toll rises to 56, with nearly 2,000 infected nationwide & more cases confirmed abroad

Chinese virus death toll rises to 56, with nearly 2,000 infected nationwide & more cases confirmed abroad
The death toll from the 2019-nCoV coronavirus outbreak in China has reached 56, with hundreds of new infections detected nationwide, despite all containment efforts. A handful of news cases have also been reported outside China.

The first death was reported in Shanghai, and another one in Henan Province, while 13 more people died in Hubei Province – the epicenter of the outbreak – where nearly 130 people were reportedly in serious or critical condition as of Sunday morning. In addition to hundreds of known and confirmed cases, some 7,000 people there remain under increased medical supervision due to their potentially dangerous “close contacts.”

Meanwhile, the number of those who have beaten the virus and were discharged from hospitals has increased to at least 85, according to authorities. 

Also on rt.com ‘Grave situation’: Xi says China can ‘win the battle’ against coronavirus, but spread is ‘accelerating’

China is facing a “grave situation” as the new coronavirus is “accelerating its spread,” President Xi Jinping warned earlier. He added, however, that given the immense efforts to contain the outbreak, China “will definitely be able to win the battle.” 

Around 450 Chinese military medics, many with experience in combating SARS or Ebola, were deployed in the region to help the overworked and exhausted hospital staff, who had been on around-the-clock shifts in recent weeks. Meanwhile, local authorities are rushing to construct a new 1,000-bed facility specifically to treat victims of the deadly virus.

Chinese authorities have also imposed strict travel restrictions in the outbreak epicenter of Wuhan, as well as nearly 20 cities in Hubei Province, with nearly 50 million people virtually quarantined in the middle of the holiday season. With many mass public events canceled, additional limitations have been imposed on intercity bus routes starting Sunday. Medical staff have been tasked with checking travelers’ temperatures for any signs of fever – the most apparent symptom of coronavirus, which is followed by a dry cough and leads to shortness of breath.

Also on rt.com Masks and airport checks for Chinese SARS-like virus are there to keep population calm – no government can stop its spread now

The virus – which causes severe flu-like symptoms – is believed to have first passed from animals to humans at a food and animal market in Wuhan, and has since mutated to transmit from person to person.

Outside of China, the virus has so far been detected in at least 10 states, including the US, France, South Korea, Japan, Nepal, Vietnam and Singapore. On Saturday, additional infections were reported in Thailand, Australia and Malaysia – as Canada announced the first so-called “presumptive confirmed case” of coronavirus in Toronto. Nearly every confirmed patient had traveled from Wuhan in recent weeks, and most of them are in a stable condition.

While the World Health Organization has deemed the new coronavirus an "emergency" in China, the international body held off designating it a global threat after two days of meetings in Geneva. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus however noted “it may yet become one.” 

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