China reports third drop in cases of coronavirus virus

Monday, February 17th, 2020 00:00 |

Beijing, Sunday

China has announced a drop in new cases from the coronavirus outbreak for a third consecutive day.

On Sunday, authorities reported 2,009 new cases and 142 more deaths nationwide.

New cases spiked earlier in the week after a change in the way they were counted but have been falling ever since.

In total more than 68,000 people have been infected in China, with the death toll standing at 1,665.

Outside of China there have been more than 500 cases in nearly 30 countries. Four people have died—in France, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan.

The measures China has taken to stop the spread of the coronavirus are starting to have an impact, Mi Feng, a spokesman at the National Health Commission, said on Sunday.

China has imposed more restrictions on people in Hubei province - the centre of the outbreak - in an attempt to control the epidemic.

The use of private cars has been banned and residents have been told to leave their homes only in emergencies.

Fbood and other essential items should be ordered in bulk and then delivered to the door, according to authorities.

The new measures come despite an announcement by China’s State Council that the proportion of infected patients in a serious condition had fallen nationwide.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi also said that along with a drop in infections within Hubei there had been a rapid increase in the number of people who had recovered.

Meanwhile, authorities in the capital, Beijing, have ordered everyone returning to the city to go into quarantine for 14 days or risk punishment.

China’s central bank will also disinfect and store used banknotes before recirculating them in a bid to stop the virus spreading.

Global concern remains high about the spread of the virus, which first emerged in China’s central Hubei province in December, with the first death outside Asia reported in France this weekend.

World Health Organisation  chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that it was “impossible to predict which direction this epidemic will take”.

“We ask all governments, companies, and news organisations to work with us to sound the appropriate level of alarm without fanning the flames of hysteria,” he said, speaking at the Munich Security Conference.

“China has bought the world time. We don’t know how much time,” he said on Saturday, adding that: “We’re encouraged that outside China, we have not yet seen widespread community transmission.” -Agencies

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