Published: Thu, February 06, 2020
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Coronavirus kills 361, infects over 17300

Coronavirus kills 361, infects over 17300

Chinese authorities completed a new, fast-built hospital with 1,000 beds for victims of the outbreak and delayed the reopening of schools in the worst affected province.

Most of the deaths have been recorded in central Hubei province, the epicentre of the new virus outbreak that was first detected in December.

He arrived in the Philippines on Jan 21 with a 38-year-old woman from Wuhan, via Hong Kong.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte approved a ban on the entry of all non-citizens from China.

The death toll rose to 361 with 57 deaths reported on Sunday, state-run Xinhua quoted the commission's report as saying. The US has so far confirmed eight cases of the coronavirus in the country.

Qatar Airways joined the growing number of airlines suspending flights to mainland China.

A 1,000-bed hospital built in just eight days to treat people with the virus in Wuhan will begin to take patients on Monday, state media said. A second hospital is expected to open soon after.

Wenzhou trade and manufacturing center, with almost 10 million people in the coastal Zhejiang province, confined people to their homes, allowing only one family member to go out every other day to buy the necessary supplies.

Fears about the rampant disease and its economic impact catastrophically dented the first day of trade in China since the advent of the Lunar New Year.

Economists at Capital Economics and Goldman Sachs last week cut their forecast for China's GDP this quarter amid a shutdown of businesses and plants to contain the spread of the virus. The Philippines reported the first death outside of China on 02 February, and announced a temporary travel ban on visitors from China, including Hong Kong and Macau.

Many businesses were to remain closed for at least another week, however, while some major cities - including Shanghai - had also extended the holiday.

New Zealand announced on Sunday that it is temporarily prohibiting travelers from China to protect the South Pacific region against the virus. Infections in China jumped to 14,380 as of Saturday, it said. Hua accused the U.S. of spreading fear instead of offering assistance, saying it was the first country to impose a travel ban on Chinese travellers and also the first to suggest a partial withdrawal of its embassy staff. Delta said it will suspend flights between the United States and China starting on Sunday until at least April 30, according to a press release. Indonesia and Oman have also suspended flights, as has Saudi Arabia's flagship national carrier, Saudia.

At full capacity, China's factories are only able to produce around 20 million masks a day, according to the ministry of industry. A French chartered aircraft made its way to France on Sunday with 300 evacuees from a large number of European and African countries. And Morocco flew home 167 of its people, mostly students.

The scare over the virus comes after months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong, triggered by what many residents see as unnecessary interference by Beijing in city affairs.

Europe so far has 25 people infected with the virus.

Japanese officials, meanwhile, were deciding whether to quarantine more than 3,000 people on a cruise ship that carried a passenger who tested positive for the virus.

German Health Minister Spahn said he had spoken to his American counterpart and agreed that the Group of Seven health ministers would hold a teleconference on how to coordinate efforts against the coronavirus.

"However, we also noticed some extreme and irrational remarks from individual countries and media, which we firmly oppose", Hua said, adding the worldwide community should deal with the pandemic in a scientific and proper manner.

However, his national security adviser Robert O'Brien told an interviewer China had not yet accepted US offers of aid.

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