China virus: What we know about the fatalities

  • China virus: What we know about the fatalities

China virus: What we know about the fatalities

Hong Kong hospitals cut services as thousands of medical workers went on strike for a second day Tuesday to demand the border with mainland China be shut completely, as a new virus caused its first death in the semi-autonomous territory and authorities feared it was spreading locally.

Three districts in Hangzhou - including the area where the main office of Chinese tech giant Alibaba is based - made a decision to allow only one person per household to go outside every two days to buy necessities, affecting some three million people. Since Saturday, recovered cases began to outnumber deaths.

Similar measures were imposed in Taizhou and three districts in Ningbo, with total populations of nine million, days after the same was done in Wenzhou, home to another nine million people.

Over 97 percent of victims from the new virus hailed from central Hubei province, where a market that sold wild animals in the capital city, Wuhan, is believed to be the epicentre of the epidemic.

The disease has killed more than 400 people and infected a further 20,000 in China, almost all of them in Hubei, and spread to two-dozen countries since it emerged in December. Additionally, health officials said 2,345 of the new infections were in Hubei, bringing the total in the hard-hit province to 13,522.

In Hong Kong, hospital staff said the 39-year-old male victim had a pre-existing chronic illness and had visited Wuhan in January before falling ill.

His death is only the second attributed to the new virus outside mainland China, where 425 people have died and more than 20,000 others have been infected, according to the latest government figures.

The man, who had been to Wuhan on January 21 and returned to Hong Kong aboard a high-speed train on January 31, had unspecified underlying health issues, according to the Centre for Health Protection.

It also ordered a "severe" crackdown on illegal wildlife markets - where the virus is thought to have emerged.

China virus: What we know about the fatalities

The government also said it "urgently" needed medical equipment such as surgical masks, protective suits and safety goggles as it battles to control the outbreak.

Conversion work started late Monday, and by Tuesday morning, hundreds of beds have been in place.

Other countries are continuing evacuations and restricting the entry of Chinese or people who have recently traveled in the country.

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

Macau, the world's biggest gambling hub, said it had asked all casino operators to suspend operations for two weeks to help curb the spread of the virus.

In contrast with the criticism China received for its handling of the SARS outbreak in 2002 and 2003, World Health Organization praised the authoritarian country for taking the right steps to control 2019-nCoV.

About a month after Li Wenliang, a Chinese doctor, alerted his medical school classmates about a new coronavirus, he was diagnosed with it.

The Shanghai stock market plunged nearly eight percent Monday on the first day of trading since the holiday as investors played catch-up with last week's global retreat.