Coronavirus death toll jump by record 242 in just one day

SA among 13 African countries on high alert for coronavirus - WHO

SA among 13 African countries on high alert for coronavirus - WHO

The death toll from China's new coronavirus epidemic climbed past 1,100 on Wednesday but the number of new cases fell for a second straight day, as the World Health Organization urged global unity to combat the "grave threat". Speculation that higher-level officials could be sacked has simmered, but doing so could spark political infighting and be a tacit admission that the Communist Party dropped the ball.

In a study published in the journal Lancet, Chinese scientists reported there is no evidence so far to suggest the virus can be passed from mother to baby. A USA citizen died in China.

The country is struggling to restart its economy after the annual Lunar New Year holiday was extended to try to keep people home and contain the virus.

"Outside China, there are 393 cases in 24 countries, and 1 death", said Dr Ghebreyesus.

"We have to stop more people from being infected", he said.

"In principle at the moment, there's no evidence out there that this virus is out there causing efficient community transmission in other countries", Ryan said. The biggest number of connected cases in that outbreak were in one apartment complex where the virus spread through sewage pipes.

"Without the reopening of businesses, in the short term, it will affect the supply of medical material the long run, it will affect the supply of all kinds of production and life materials and will make the control and prevention efforts on the front line unsustainable".

During the 2002-03 outbreak of severe acutre respiratory syndrome (SARS), an illness caused by a related virus, a number of infections in Hong Kong were linked to one building's sewage pipes. Its biggest bank, DBS, evacuated 300 staff from its head office on Wednesday after a confirmed coronavirus case in the building.

SA among 13 African countries on high alert for coronavirus - WHO

Echoing the comparison with the fight against terrorism, China's state news agency Xinhua said late on Tuesday the epidemic was a "battle that has no gunpowder smoke but must be won". He added that a quarantine official had also been infected. "At this point, we have confirmed that four people, among those who are hospitalised, are in a serious condition, either on a ventilator or in an intensive care unit", he said.

The United States Postal Service informed its counterparts around the world on Tuesday that it was "experiencing significant difficulties" in dispatching letters, parcels and express mail to China, including Hong Kong and Macau, because airlines have suspended flights to those destinations.

Both the US and Singapore Post said in notes to their global counterparts that they are no longer accepting items destined for China, "until sufficient transport capacity becomes available".

China's censors had allowed criticism of local officials but have begun cracking down on reporting of the outbreak, issuing reprimands to tech firms that gave free rein to online speech, Chinese journalists said.

Hundreds of infections have been reported in dozens of other countries and territories, but only two people have died outside mainland China: one in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines.

The Diamond Princess was placed in quarantine for two weeks upon arriving in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, on February 3, after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus.

The WHO said while there were no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus reported in the African region, it was strengthening its support to countries in the detection and management of suspected cases and in ensuring a robust response, should a first case be detected.

The CDC confirms the 13th case of coronavirus in the USA. UU
The other group, the first to arrive in the United States, was released from quarantine on Tuesday. Public health officials say person-to-person transmission of the virus may be possible.

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