Published: Sun, February 16, 2020
Medical | By

Over 5,000 new cases of coronavirus confirmed in single day in China

Over 5,000 new cases of coronavirus confirmed in single day in China

China reported Sunday a drop in new virus cases for the third straight day, as it became apparent that the country's leadership was aware of the potential gravity of the situation well before the alarm was sounded.

"The total number of medical workers has far exceeded that for rescue in the 2008 Wenchuan quake, and we did it at a much faster speed", Wang Hesheng, deputy head of the commission, said at a video press conference held in Wuhan, capital city of Hubei Province.

While China dispatched more medical teams and poured more resources to virus-hit Hubei and its provincial capital Wuhan, experts of the World Health Organisation (WHO) are converging here this weekend to join Chinese health specialists to contain the virus.

The official Beijing Daily newspaper said people failing to obey government orders to quarantine themselves on return from the holidays would be punished.

By the end of Friday, 56 confirmed cases including one death had been reported in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, 10 confirmed cases in the Macao SAR, and 18 in Taiwan.

Meanwhile, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the global joint mission with China on the novel COVID-19 is moving forward, with the full team expected to reach China over the weekend.

Hubei province, where the outbreak is believed to have originated, now includes cases based on a physician's diagnosis before they have been confirmed by lab tests.

The Health Secretary said it was evidence that the NHS is "well-prepared" to deal with the virus.

On Thursday, the number of new cases reported by authorities in Hubei spiked to 15,152, mainly because China has changed the way it is counting.

Big projects, especially those in manufacturing, should start construction on time, he said, adding that boosting consumption was an important hedge against the epidemic's impact. Infectious disease specialists have also said this means the number of confirmed cases in a day were limited by a laboratory's capabilities.

The agency is "concerned by the continued increase in the number of cases in China", and by reports about the number of health workers who have been infected or died, Tedros said, criticising what he called a "lack of urgency in funding the response from the worldwide community".

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