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    Novel coronavirus death toll rises to 41

    The death toll from the novel coronavirus nCoV continues to rise. There are currently 1,287 confirmed cases in China, 41 of whom have died, reports said Saturday morning, January 25.

    Chinese authorities confirm 1,287 coronavirus cases, with 41 deaths
    Chinese authorities confirm 1,287 coronavirus cases, with 41 deaths | Photo Credit: Reuters

    China has expanded lockdown and rushing for the establishment of 1,000-bed hospital in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak. The authority aims to finish construction of the prefabricated hospital in six days to support the overwhelming number of patients and for quaratine purposes.

    Rush construction of 1,000-bed hospital in Wuhan China
    Rush construction of 1,000-bed hospital in Wuhan China. Photo Credit: BBC/AFP

    Aljazeera reported that the southern city of Haikou announced today that beginning at noon, local time, it will start a 14-day centralised medical observation for all tourists coming from Hubei province.

    UPDATE: Doctor treating coronavirus patients dies from Wuhan virus

    Authorities have also shut down major tourist sites including the Forbidden City in Beijing and a section of the Great Wall. They also cancelled major public events in China including the traditional temple fairs in Beijing, international carnival in Hong Kong, annual football tournament in Hong Kong and public Lunar New Year celebrations in Macau.

    Spread of nCoV

    BBC reports that the virus has now spread to Europe, with three cases confirmed in France.

    Thailand has five cases confirmed; two each in Japan, Vietnam and South Korea; and one in Taiwan.

    There are also suspected cases in UK, US and Canada.

    In the Philippines, the Department of Health said Friday that there is still no confirmed case of nCov in the country. The Chinese boy, who tested positive for non specific pancoronavirus assay is being monitored by the DOH in Cebu hospital. The child's specimen sent in Melbourne, Australia for laboratory checking tested negative for the infection.

    WHO advisory

    The World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the Wuhan coronavirus is not yet a public health emergency of international concern.

    On December 31, 2019, WHO was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City. The virus did not match any other known virus. This raised concern because when a virus is new, we do not know how it affects people.

    The new virus is a coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). This new virus was temporarily named “2019-nCoV.”


    WHO’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:
    • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
    • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
    • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
    • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
    • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
    • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

    — The Summit Express

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