Coronavirus Outbreak: Death Toll Surpasses 1k in China, 43k+ Infected Worldwide
By Staff, Agencies
The fast-moving coronavirus gripping China has claimed over 1,000 lives in total, sickening more than 43,000 people worldwide as health authorities in dozens of countries scramble to contain the outbreak.
China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the virus, reported 2,097 new cases of the illness on Monday, the majority of them in the city of Wuhan, where the illness was first observed. To date, most of the 1,018 fatalities inflicted by the virus have occurred in Mainland China, with two others in Hong Kong and the Philippines.
As the disease toll climbs, Beijing has taken aggressive measures to contain the spread of the outbreak, imposing travel restrictions across dozens of cities encompassing tens of millions of citizens. The government has pursued a less traditional, higher tech approach as well, rolling out a smartphone app which reportedly warns users if they’ve come in close proximity to anybody carrying the deadly virus. While it’s still unclear exactly how the app works, China’s National Health Commission said “close contact” refers to anyone who shared the same home, office, classroom or train with a confirmed patient.
The World Health Organization, which designated the outbreak a global health emergency last month, has warned all countries to prepare for an outbreak.
Scientists in nearby Russia have done just that, working on treatments and new detection methods for the illness and providing both testing equipment and anti-viral medicines to their counterparts in China. Two cases of the virus have been confirmed in Russia – both Chinese citizens, who are now recovering – while over 20,000 are being monitored for symptoms. Though no vaccine currently exists, some medicines have proven effective, with over 3,500 patients worldwide recovering from the virus so far.