Coronavirus: Death toll climbs to 106 as China tightens measures

The death toll from the new coronavirus now stands at 106, as cases of new infections have almost doubled in a day, Chinese authorities said.

The number of total confirmed cases in China rose to 4,515 as of 27 January, up from 2,835 a day earlier.

Travel restrictions have been tightened and wearing masks in public is now mandatory in some cities.

The city of Wuhan is at the epicentre of the outbreak but it has spread across China and internationally.

Wuhan, and the Hubei province it is located in, are already effectively in a lockdown with transport restrictions in and out of the area.

On Monday, authorities in Beijing confirmed a 50-year-old man had died – the first fatality in the Chinese capital from the virus.

The coronavirus causes severe acute respiratory infection and there is no specific cure or vaccine.

Most of the deaths have been in Hubei province with the victims being elderly people or those with pre-existing respiratory problems.

A total of 60 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery, according to Chinese state media.

What steps is China taking?

The outbreak of the virus comes during the Lunar New Year celebration which usually sees millions travel across the country to visit relatives and friends.

Workers in protective suits monitor a screen showing the thermal scan to check temperatures of passengers arriving at the Nanjing Railway Station, following the outbreak of a new coronavirus, during Chinese Lunar New Year holiday in Nanjing, China January 27, 2020.Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionTravel is being severely restricted and monitored

To try and stop the spread of infections, many of the new year festivities have been suspended and the holiday period has been extended three days to Sunday.

In the last 24 hours:

  • Beijing and Shanghai have introduced a 14-day observation period for people arriving from Hubei
  • Authorities have postponed the new semester for schools and universities nationwide, without giving a resumption date
  • China Railway Group said would suspends hundreds of train lines throughout the country
  • The immigration administration has encouraged citizens to reconsider the timing of overseas travel to reduce cross-border movement.

 

Source: BBC

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