According to the latest assessment published on Saturday, the Wuhan coronavirus killed 722 people in China, an assessment higher than that of severe acute respiratory syndrome in the early 2000s.
The coronavirus epidemic caused 86 additional deaths on Friday in mainland China, Chinese health authorities said on Saturday (February 8th) in their daily statement. This brings the number of fatal cases in the country to 722 since the 2019-nCoV coronavirus broke out in Wuhan.
The National Health Commission said that 3,399 additional cases of contamination were identified on Friday, bringing the number of patients infected with the epidemic to 31,774 in the country.
The death toll is now higher than that of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in the Chinese mainland and in Hong Kong, which claimed the lives of around 650 people in 2002-2003.
Bat and pangolin
More than 300 other cases have been confirmed in around 30 states and territories, including two fatalities in Hong Kong and the Philippines. Thousands of tourists in three ships are stranded in Asia after the virus was detected on board.
While the trail of a bat virus seems to be confirmed, Chinese scientists have announced that the pangolin, a small mammal, could be the “intermediate host” having, last, transmitted the infectious agent to the ‘To be human.
Diarrhea could be a secondary route of transmission for the new coronavirus, scientists said Friday following the publication of the latest study of patients with abdominal symptoms and loose stools. The primary route of contamination would be through virus-laden droplets from an infected person’s cough.
The epidemic took a political turn Friday with the death of doctor Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, which had given the alert at the end of December after the appearance of the virus in this city.
With others, he was summoned after his revelations by the police, who accused him of spreading rumors. He is now a national hero in the face of local officials accused of hiding the beginnings of the epidemic. “It was a hero who raised the alarm at the cost of his life,” wrote one of his colleagues from Wuhan on the Weibo online network.
Shaken by popular anger, the central government announced the opening of an investigation into “the circumstances surrounding Doctor Li Wenliang”.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has been relatively behind since the start of the epidemic, assured his American counterpart, Donald Trump, on the phone on Friday that his country is “fully capable” of defeating the coronavirus. He also called on the United States to respond “reasonably” to the crisis, after the country denied foreigners passing through China entry to the country, state media reported.
“We mostly talked about the coronavirus. They work very hard and I think they do a very professional job,” Donald Trump told reporters. The US government then announced that it had released $ 100 million to help China and other countries affected by the coronavirus.
Many states have taken restrictive measures against people from China and advised against travel to that country. Even in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous region, authorities have announced that arrivals from the Chinese mainland will be automatically quarantined from Saturday, warning that any offender will face up to six months in prison.
In Africa, Gabon has decided to suspend the entry on its soil of any passenger coming from China.
Another distressing situation: thousands of travellers and crew members are detained on two cruise ships in Asia. Off Japan, the Diamond Princess has been in quarantine since Tuesday after the confirmation of 61 cases on board. Some 3,700 people are cloistered in their cabin.
In Hong Kong, some 3,600 people suffer a similar fate on the World Dream, including three former passengers who tested positive. And according to a statement from the Japanese authorities, another liner, the Westerdam, is en route to Japan with at least one confirmed case on board.