Coronavirus toll in China now 361, more than 17,205 infected

Beijing, Feb 3 (IANS) Chinese health authorities on Monday said that the death toll in the country due to the fast-spreading deadly novel coronavirus has increased to 361, with more than 17,205 infected cases.
The National Health Commission said that it received reports of 2,829 new confirmed cases of and 57 deaths on Sunday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, reports Xinhua news agency.
Among the new fatalities reported on Sunday, 56 were from Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak.
Another 5,173 new suspected cases were reported on Sunday, said the Commission.
It added that 2,296 patients remained in severe condition, and 21,558 people were suspected of being infected with the virus.
A total of 475 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery.
The Commission further said that 189,583 close contacts had been traced, adding that among them, 10,055 were discharged on Sunday, with 152,700 others still under medical observation.
On Sunday, the Philippines confirmed the country’s first death from the novel coronavirus, making it the first nation outside China to report a fatality.
The number of coronavirus cases globally has overtaken that of the similar Sars epidemic, which spread to more than two dozen countries in 2003, prompting various countries to impose travel restrictions to a varying degree, the BBC said in a report.
The other countries were confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported are Japan (20), Thailand (19), Singapore (18), South Korea (15), Hong Kong (15), Australia (12), Taiwan (11), Malaysia (eight), the US (eight), Germany (eight), Macao (eight), Vietnam (seven), France (six), UAE (five), Canada (two), Italy (two), the UK (two), India (two), Philippines (two), Russia (two), Cambodia (one), Finland (one), Nepal (one), Sri Lanka (one), Spain (one) and Sweden (one).
China has criticised the wave of travel restrictions, accusing foreign governments of ignoring official advice.
The World Health Organization, which has declared the outbreak a global health emergency, has recommended introducing screening at border crossings and warned that closing borders could accelerate the spread of the virus, with travellers entering countries unofficially.
Meanwhile, Wuhan’s 1,000-bed Huoshenshan Hospital, built in just eight days, is set to open on Monday.
It is one of two dedicated facilities being constructed to help tackle the outbreak, the BBC report said.
Local TV reports said 1,400 Chinese army medical staff, some with experience of infectious diseases, were arriving in Wuhan and being transferred to the new site.
The second hospital at Leishenshan is due to be finished on Wednesday.

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