Death toll in China now 2718; no deaths outside epicentre Hubei in 3 weeks

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China on Wednesday said there were more than 50 new deaths from the coronavirus outbreak until Tuesday midnight, taking the toll to 2718 on the mainland.

The national health commission (NHC) reported over 430 new infections nationwide, continuing the slowing trend of the outbreak on the mainland.

Less than 1000 new daily infections have been reported on the mainland for more than a week, the NHC said.

The total number of confirmed cases was 78190.

Global fears about the covid-19 outbreak continued on Wednesday with at least 38 countries reporting nearly 2900 cases and at least 45 deaths.

First cases or suspected cases of the disease have emerged in new several countries Croatia, Switzerland, and for the first time, in Brazil in a 61-year-old who returned from Italy, the worst-hit in Eurppe.

In China, more than 45000 patients were undergoing treatment until Tuesday midnight, about one-fifth of whom were in a severe condition.

All the deaths were reported from central Chinese province, Hubei, the worst-hit by the epidemic – the first time in 23 days, according to state media.

Worryingly, around 14 % of recovered covid-19 patients tested positive for the virus in later checkups in south China’s Guangdong province, raising concerns whether recovered patients can still infect others.

Local authorities were quoted as saying it needs further testing to determine if they become a source of infection again

State media reported that at least 49 police personnel had lost their lives in the line of duty in fighting the epidemic.

The WHO has called the outbreak a global health emergency but stopped short of using the label “pandemic”, a term used when a disease takes hold in multiple regions and spreads rampantly within communities.

The dramatic and worrying spread of the virus in South Korea – largest number of cases outside China –, Iran and Italy has fuelled fears that covid-19 could reach pandemic status – a matter of not if but when.

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