The global toll in the novel coronavirus outbreak has breached the 3,000-mark as China reported 42 more deaths in its Monday morning bulletin, reported AFP. The new fatalities were all in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak. The overall toll in mainland China is now 2,912, said the National Health Commission.
However, there were only 202 fresh cases reported from China on Monday, the lowest since January 22. Outside Hubei, there were only six confirmed new infections. As of Sunday, 44,462 patients had recovered from the illness.
Chen Yixin, the deputy head of a central government team deployed to contain the outbreak in Hubei, said the number of fatalities and suspected cases was dropping, reported South China Morning Post. He said that up to 90% of the new infections had been identified by testing suspected cases. “This shows the epidemic is effectively contained,” he added. “The battle facing Wuhan has entered a decisive stage.”
Fatalities and infections in other countries
South Korea confirmed 476 more coronavirus cases on Monday. This takes the country’s total to 4,212 infections. With four more deaths, 22 people have so far died of the disease in the country, said the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Outside China, South Korea has the highest number of cases and Iran the most deaths.
Meanwhile, the outbreak has continued to spread in other countries. The Washington state reported the second death in the United States on Sunday. The first fatality was reported on Saturday. Both the victims reportedly had underlying health problems. Washington state now has 12 confirmed cases.
New York state confirmed its first positive coronavirus case. More than 70 cases have been reported in the US. President Donald Trump on Saturday announced he would extend a travel ban on Iran to apply to foreign nationals who had been there in the last two weeks. He also advised Americans not to travel to regions of Italy and South Korea that have been hit by the coronavirus. Trump also said he is considering restrictions on the US’ southern border.
Iran’s health ministry reported 11 new deaths from the novel coronavirus and 385 fresh cases on Sunday. The overall toll in the country is now 54 and total number of infections is 978. Iraq reported six new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases there to 19.
Meanwhile, Armenia became the latest country to confirm its first case of coronavirus on Sunday. The Armenian citizen recently returned from Iran. The neighbouring country of Azerbaijan registered its first case of the COVID-19 virus on Friday, a Russian who had also arrived from Iran. Georgia also has confirmed three cases.
Australia reported its first fatality on Saturday. In Italy, the number of infections nearly doubled in the last 48 hours. The toll in the country is now 34.
The World Health Organization on Sunday said the mortality rate in the outbreak appears to be between 2% and 5%, reported AFP. People above the age of 60 and those having underlying health problems are likely to be worst affected. It added that most people with the virus only experience mild symptoms, while around 14% suffer severe disease like pneumonia.