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30 Jan, 2020 11:38

Deadliest day for China: Coronavirus claims record number of victims in 24 hours as more countries confirm infections

Deadliest day for China: Coronavirus claims record number of victims in 24 hours as more countries confirm infections

China has suffered its deadliest day since the coronavirus outbreak began, with 38 related deaths recorded. The World Health Organization (WHO) is set to discuss declaring a global health emergency.

Record fatalities

Thirty-eight new deaths in China were reported over the last 24 hours, marking the deadliest day since the outbreak began in Wuhan. The virus has now spread to every region in China, killing 170 nationwide.

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in China has jumped to 7,711, while an additional 81,000 people are under observation.

Videos from China show empty streets and silent shopping centers, with people scared indoors by the rapidly spreading infection.

While trying to curb the epidemic, Beijing has put 16 cities on lockdown, in what has essentially become a quarantine of tens of millions of citizens.

Also on rt.com City turned ghost town: Take a look inside sealed-off Wuhan amid coronavirus outbreak in China (VIDEO)

Panic mode… on?

On Thursday, India and Philippines confirmed their first cases of the coronavirus, adding to the list of more than a dozen nations worldwide who are now treating infected patients.

Japan confirmed on Thursday that three citizens evacuated from Wuhan have tested positive for the coronavirus, even though two of them showed no symptoms at the time. It is suspected that, of the eleven confirmed cases in Japan, two people became victims of human-to-human transmission: a tour guide and bus driver, who have not visited China recently but who came into contact with a group of tourists from Wuhan.


“We are in a truly new situation,” Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said.

In South Korea, anti-virus plans have sparked panic. Seoul is set to transport an estimated 700 citizens home from China, after which they will be held in isolation to ensure none are carrying the virus. However, locals living near the proposed quarantine facility have staged protests, demanding that the evacuees be kept further away from residential areas.

Global health emergency warning back on the table

Although initially hesitant to declare the coronavirus outbreak an international emergency, leaders of the WHO will convene a meeting on Thursday to decide whether the crisis is grave enough. If they agree that it is, the epidemic will receive global health emergency status. 

Reports of human-to-human transmission of the virus in three countries – Japan, Germany and Vietnam – have prompted the agency to reconsider its global implications. 

“This potential for further global spread is why I called the EC [Emergency Committee],” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote in a tweet.

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