China coronavirus deaths rise to 56

26 January 2020 08:50 am - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The death toll in the outbreak of a new coronavirus in China has risen to 56 state media said on Sunday, as the country stepped up efforts to contain the infection and President Xi Jinping warned the country was facing a "grave situation".

The number of people infected rose to 1,975, as of January 25.

Officials in Hubei reported 13 deaths and 323 new cases of the respiratory illness.

The virus remains centred on Hubei's provincial capital of Wuhan, home to 11 million people, which accounted for seven of the new deaths and 46 of the new confirmed cases, the Hubei Health Commission said.

Separately, the province of Henan, which borders Hubei in the north reported one death and the city of Shanghai reported its first death from the disease.

China has stepped up travel restrictions, in effect sealing off Wuhan and more than a dozen other cities, curbing the movement of some 56 million people amid fears that the transmission rate will accelerate over the peak Lunar New Year travel season.

Health authorities around the world have stepped up screening at airports and other entry and exit points in an attempt to prevent a global pandemic as the virus continues to spread, with cases reported in Australia, France, the United States and seven countries in the Asia Pacific beyond China.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged that the respiratory illness, which has been traced to the city of Wuhan, is an emergency in China but the organisation on Thursday said it was too early to declare it a global health emergency.

  Comments - 2

  • Warren Raed Sunday, 26 January 2020 03:01 PM

    And in the midst of all this chaos, our leaders are intending to bring down our citizens to spread the disease here.

    Sokrates Sunday, 26 January 2020 04:23 PM

    What scaremongering. In Germany, 27,000 people died of a flu pandemic in 2017.


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