China sees drop in new virus cases, two Japan cruise passengers die

China sees drop in new virus cases, two Japan cruise passengers die

China sees drop in new virus cases, two Japan cruise passengers die

China's Hubei province reported an uptick in new cases of coronavirus on Friday, reversing three days of declines, although the numbers still confirmed a downward trend, Reuters reports.

The death toll jumped to 2,118 on Thursday after 114 new deaths were reported - most in Hubei province, the hard-hit epicentre of the outbreak.

In the United Kingdom, nine cases of coronavirus have been confirmed to date, with all but one of the people being treated now discharged from hospital.

Meanwhile, South Korea reported its first death from the coronavirus, according to the country's Centres for Disease control.

The virus, which was first discovered in Hubei's capital Wuhan in December, has spread to about two dozen countries, prompting governments to enact travel bans and tough quarantine policies.

When Hubei started adding clinically diagnosed patients on February 12, it reported 14,840 new cases - a surge from the day-earlier 1,638.

"Cruise ships have a lot of elderly passengers, many of whom have chronic diseases and are on medication, so I am not surprised to hear that people have died", Iwata told reporters by video conference from Yokohama on Thursday.

"We are encouraged by this trend but this is no time for complacency", the WHO's director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told a briefing in Geneva. A team of microbiologists working on the Outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 warned authorities that another deadly corona virus epidemic could begin in areas around Wuhan, the epicenter of Covid-19.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke by phone about the virus with leaders in South Korea and Pakistan, state news agency Xinhua said.

Two Iranians who tested positive on Wednesday for the disease have died, while three tested positive on Thursday, taking the total number of confirmed cases in Iran to five, the Iranian health ministry said.

More than 1,000 cases and 11 deaths have been confirmed outside the mainland.

But questions are being asked as to the wisdom of allowing former Diamond Princess passengers to roam freely around Japan's crowded cities, even if they have tested negative.

"China's forceful action has contained the spread of the virus inside China and also the spread of the virus to other parts of the world", Wang said, adding the country "has the capacity and determination to overcome this outbreak at an early date".

Iran's health minister, Saeed Namaki said the roughly 60 Iranian students evacuated from Wuhan had been quarantined upon their return to Iran and were discharged after 14 days without any health problems.

Still, passengers were disembarking after negative tests and having completed a 14-day quarantine period - packing into yellow buses and leaving for stations and airports.

The key supplies for medical personnel on the frontlines to fight the novel coronavirus epidemic in central China's Hubei Province are guaranteed, and the supplies of living materials are basically abundant.

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