Coronavirus death tops 800 to surpass SARS epidemic

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Chinese scientists believe pangolins may have spread coronavirus from bats to humans

CHINA, (teleSUR) —The coronavirus has taken the world by storm, with thousands of cases reported in several countries around the globe. The death toll from the Coronavirus has officially topped the SARS epidemic after China announced on Sunday that the death toll in mainland China recorded at 811, and confirmed cases reach more than 37,100.

This exceeds the number of deaths reported from the SARS outbreak in 2003, which killed 774 people, according to the World Health Organization.

However, officials at China’s National Health Commission said the number of confirmed cases reported daily in provinces other than Hubei — the region in central China; where the virus is believed to have originated — has dropped from 890 on February, 3 —  to 509 on February, 8 — a decrease of nearly 43 percent.

China’s cabinet said on Sunday it would coordinate with transport authorities to ensure the smooth return to work of employees in key industries such as food and medicines.

The State Council’s special coronavirus group also said workers should return in “batches”, rather than all at once, in order to reduce infection risks.

China’s ambassador to Britain described the newly identified virus as “the enemy of mankind” in an interview with BBC television on Sunday, but added it “is controllable, is preventable, is curable”.

“At this moment is very difficult to predict when we are going to have an inflection point,” Liu Xiaoming told the Andrew Marr Show. “We certainly hope it will come soon, but the isolation and quarantine measures have been very effective.”

On Monday, a large number of workplaces and schools will remain closed and many white-collar employees will work from home.

The scale of the potential hit to an economy that has been the engine of global growth in recent years has taken a toll on financial markets, as shares slumped and investors switched into safe-havens such as gold, bonds, and the Japanese yen.

China’s National Health Commission recorded another 89 deaths on Saturday, pushing the total well above the 774 who died from SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2002/2003.

Total confirmed coronavirus cases in China stood at 37,198, commission data showed. New infections recorded the first drop since February 1, falling back below 3,000 to 2,656 cases. Of those, 2,147 cases were in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

The virus has also spread to at least 27 countries and regions, according to a Reuters count based on official reports, infecting more than 330 people. Two deaths have been reported outside mainland China – both of Chinese nationals.

Meantime, Russia sends help to China to fight the Coronavirus. Vladimir Putin expressed his country’s will to help the Chinese authorities contain the viral outbreak. Russia’s ministry of emergencies sent an airplane with medicines and equipment to China to support local authorities in their fight against the coronavirus pneumonia.

The Russian envoy consists of a humanitarian aid shipment of 183 cubic meters, which weighs 23 tons, and includes two million masks, as reported by the ministry of industry and commerce.

Preciously, president Putin hailed the strong efforts of the Chinese government against the coronavirus and expressed Russia’s will to help Chinese people contain the viral outbreak.

“The Chinese leadership has made forceful and determined efforts to contain the viral outbreak. The Russian government is ready to provide any help to our Chinese friends at any time,” he said.

Scientists believe pangolins may have spread coronavirus from bats to humans. Pangolins are believed to be one of the world’s most trafficked mammals.

 

 

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