Virus cases rise as experts question China's numbers

Xiao Yijiu  Xinhua via AP

Xiao Yijiu Xinhua via AP

Commission Vice Minister Zeng Yixin (曾益新) said that 1,716 health workers had been infected and six had died as of Tuesday, with the number of infected staff rising.

About 55,748 people were being treated, while 1,380 people have died of the coronavirus that emerged in December previous year in Wuhan, capital of central Hubei Province.

"This outbreak could still go in any direction", WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said, the BBC reported on Thursday.

The WHO has been able to track down the source of transmission in all but eight of the 441 cases of the virus outside China, its head of emergencies Michael Ryan said.

- Chinese health authorities said they received reports of 5,090 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 121 deaths on Thursday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

In Cambodia, the cruise ship MS Westerdam was allowed to dock in the port town of Sihanoukville after being turned away by five countries over fears that someone on board may have the coronavirus.

The World Health Organization announced Friday that a team of 12 global investigators is expected to touch down this weekend in China and begin working with a team of Chinese experts. Japan reported its first death Thursday. As of Thursday, more than 250 new deaths were reported within 24 hours, according to the World Health Organization's most recent situation report.

Worldwide, there were at least 64,000 confirmed cases as of Friday afternoon, and more than 1,300 deaths - the vast bulk in mainland China, and particularly in Hubei province, the center of the outbreak.

Reserve Bank of New Zealand keeps Official Cash Rate at 1 percent
The widespread travel ban may make it worse for New Zealand's economic growth, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern commented. Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr said monetary policy had time to adjust to the impact of coronavirus, if needed.

Meantime, the vulnerability of health workers responding to the epidemic was crystalized with other data emerging from China.

Public Health England is now said to be rushing to speak to people who may have had contact with the infected conference attendee.

However, the WHO's Ryan said the numbers of infected health workers is sad but not alarming.

The patient was reportedly a woman in her 80s who was being treated at a hospital near Tokyo after she began developing symptoms on Feb 1.

What is the first case in Africa?

. Meanwhile, 3,441 patients have recovered and been discharged. "Some of these issues include easy to apply diagnostics, the best approaches for infection prevention, potential therapies that could be used to treat patients, existing vaccine candidates and how to accelerate them and how to address the infodemic", Adhanom added.

Doctors and other health-care workers fighting the coronavirus outbreak in China don't have any specific treatments to use against this new virus.

The temporary entry ban applies to foreign nationals, with the exception of relatives of citizens and permanent residents.

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