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Wuhan virus death toll hits 213 in China, nearly 10,000 infected

Wuhan virus death toll hits 213 in China, nearly 10,000 infected

The virus was first detected at a market in Wuhan, which is now shuttered AFP/Hector RETAMAL

BEIJING: The nationwide death toll in China's coronavirus outbreak has risen to 213, with nearly 10,000 infected, according to official figures released on Friday (Jan 31).

In its daily update, China's National Health Commission said 43 new deaths had occurred as a result of the virus, all but one of them in hardest-hit Hubei province where the virus first emerged.

There were nearly 2,000 new cases confirmed, the commission said, bringing the total number of infected cases in the country to more than 9,600.

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The new figures came hours after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global emergency over the deadly pathogen, which has spread to a number of countries around the world.

The health commission for Hubei, the Chinese province at the centre of the new coronavirus outbreak, said on Friday that deaths in the province from the disease had risen by 42 to 204 as of the end of Jan 30.

There had been a further 1,220 cases detected in Hubei, taking the total to 5,806, it said.

The latest numbers indicate that the daily death count is continuing to grow sharply, despite unprecedented measures imposed on Hubei a week ago.

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On Thursday, Chinese health officials had reported a nationwide total of 38 deaths, all but one of them in Hubei.

The WHO had initially downplayed the threat posed by the disease, but revised its risk assessment after crisis talks on Thursday.

"We must all act together now to limit further spread ... We can only stop it together," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing in Geneva.

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Tedros nevertheless said travel and trade restrictions with China were unnecessary to stem the spread of the virus, which has now been confirmed in more than 15 other countries across the globe.

Many countries have already urged their citizens not to visit China while some have banned entry for travellers from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus first surfaced.

The virus is similar to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) pathogen. That outbreak also began in China and eventually killed nearly 800 people worldwide in 2002-03.

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Source: Agencies/nc


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