Coronavirus death toll hits to 811
Published : Sunday, 9 February, 2020 at 9:29 AM Count : 415
The number of new coronavirus deaths on the Chinese mainland hit 811 by end of Saturday (Feb 8), the National Health Commission said on Sunday morning (Feb 9), surpassing that of the Sars epidemic in 2002/2003.
The new deaths on Saturday reached another daily record at 89, the data showed, pushing the total well over the 774 who died from Sars, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
Of the coronavirus deaths, 81 were in China’s central Hubei province, where the virus has infected most people. New deaths in Hubei’s capital Wuhan, where the outbreak started, saw a rare decline.
New infection cases on Saturday fell back below 3,000 to 2,656 cases. Of those, 2,147 cases were in Hubei province, taking the total in the province to 27,100.
It is the fewest number of infections to be reported in a week, as World Health Organisation officials said the outbreak may be stabilising in the region where the illness first emerged. But it also cautioned that it was too early to say if the virus has peaked.
The number of confirmed infections in China’s coronavirus outbreak has reached 37,198 nationwide with more than 2,600 new cases reported, the National Health Commission said Sunday (Feb 9).
The only confirmed fatalities outside the mainland are a Chinese man in the Philippines and a 39-year-old man in Hong Kong.
Joseph Eisenberg, professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, said it was too early to say whether the epidemic was peaking due to the uncertainty in the number of cases.
“Even if reported cases might be peaking, we don’t know what is happening with unreported cases,” he said. “This is especially an issue in some of the more rural areas.”
A 60-year-old US citizen diagnosed with the virus died on Thursday in Wuhan, according to the US embassy. A Japanese man in his 60s with a suspected coronavirus infection also died in hospital in Wuhan, the Japanese foreign ministry said.
On Saturday, Singapore reported seven additional confirmed cases of infections, bringing its total to 40. None had travelled to China recently.
Of these, five are linked to previously announced cases. Among the new confirmed cases are a taxi driver and a private-hire car driver, the Ministry of Health said.
Grab Holdings, which runs Singapore’s biggest ride-hailing app, said it will temporarily suspend its GrabShare carpooling services starting Sunday.
The 2002-2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or Sars, killed 774 people and sickened almost 8,100 others, in 26 countries, over eight months, the World Health Organisation said.
Mainland China accounted for about 45 per cent of Sars deaths.
THE STRAITS TIMES/TF