World Health Organization names coronavirus Covid-19 as China, Japan report rise in infections

Medical workers in protective suits attend to novel coronavirus patients at the intensive care unit of a designated hospital in Wuhan Hubei province China

Medical workers in protective suits attend to novel coronavirus patients at the intensive care unit of a designated hospital in Wuhan Hubei province China

Leading Chinese disease specialist Zhong Nanshan told fellow doctors in Wuhan, where the virus emerged in December, that while the rest of China may have turned the corner, more efforts are needed to stop the spread of the virus in the city and the rest of Hubei province. If many of them were diagnosed using the newly included CT method and only now added to the total number of cases, then the death rate could rise.

Clinically diagnosed cases are unique to Hubei statistically.

Most of the cases have been in Hubei, where about 56 million people have been placed under virtual quarantine.

New figures from Hubei today record 242 new deaths, taking the death toll in China to at least 1355, and a further 14,840 cases have been reported leading to a worldwide total of 60,015 confirmed cases.

China has been praised by the World Health Organization (WHO) for its transparent handling of the outbreak, in contrast to the way it concealed the extent of the SARS virus.

But it has faced continued scepticism among the global public, with suggestions that there may be similarities with the way it dealt with the 2002-2003 outbreak.

Hubei and Wuhan officials held important political meetings in the first weeks of January.

Chinese GP postponed due to coronavirus as F1 seeks new date
The event, though, was eventually scrapped after organisers in Nur-Sultan declined to take up the role of replacement hosts. The race was scheduled for April 19 in Shanghai, but Formula 1 postponed the race at the request of the Shanghai promoter.

But in Geneva, World Health Organization officials warned Wednesday against reaching premature conclusions on the Chinese data.

The head of the WHO's emergency program, Dr. Mike Ryan, said it was too early "to predict the beginning, the middle or end of the epidemic".

And this week's Singapore Air Show - Asia's biggest - was badly hit by exhibitors withdrawing and low attendance.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) said on Tuesday it was "experiencing significant difficulties" on sending letters and express mail to China after airlines suspended flights to the country.

Global ship deliveries have also been dented as yards in China, one of the biggest shipbuilders, struggle to get fully back to work.

Passengers have been kept on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan, because of fears of spreading covid-19 in Japan.

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