China sees deadliest day yet as global coronavirus outbreak fears mount

China sees deadliest day yet as global coronavirus outbreak fears mount

A total of 38 deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours alone; bringing the number of fatalities from Coronavirus to more than 170.

The World Health Organization is considering declaring the latest novel coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency.

China reported its biggest single-day jump in novel coronavirus deaths on Thursday, January 30; as confirmation that three Japanese evacuated from the outbreak’s epicentre were infected deepened fears about a global contagion.

The WHO, which initially downplayed the severity of a disease that has now killed more than 170 people; warned all governments to be “on alert”; as it weighed whether to declare a global health emergency.

As foreign countries evacuated their citizens from Wuhan; the locked-down city in which the virus was first detected; concern over the economic impact has steadily intensified.

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Chinese authorities have taken extraordinary steps to arrest the virus’s spread; including effectively locking down more than 50 million people in Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province.

But that was yet to pay dividends; with the government reporting 38 new deaths in the 24 hours to Thursday, the highest one-day total. All but one were in Hubei.

The number of confirmed new cases also rose by 1,732; for a total of 7,711 cases, the National Health Commission said. Another 81,000 people were under observation for possible infection.

The pathogen is believed to have been spawned in a market that sold wild game; spreading far and wide by a Lunar New Year holiday season; in which hundreds of millions of Chinese travel domestically or abroad.

Meanwhile, the WHO has come under fire after; it last week declined to declare a global health emergency.

The global health body’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed regret; for what he called a “human error” in the WHO’s assessment.

WHO’s Emergency Committee will meet on Thursday to decide whether to declare an emergency; which could lead to travel or trade barriers.

“The whole world needs to take action,” Michael Ryan, head of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, told reporters in Geneva.

About The Author

Mayowa Oladeji

A writer with a keen interest in human stories and topical issues around the world. mayowa.oladeji@1stnews.com

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