International

Death toll rises as virus spreads

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak has risen to 170, and a confirmed case in Tibet means it has reached every region in mainland China.

Chinese health authorities said there were 7,711 confirmed cases in the country as of January 29.

Infections have also spread to at least 15 other countries.

World Health Organisation (WHO) was expected to meet Thursday to again consider whether the virus constitutes a global health emergency.

“In the last few days the progress of the virus, especially in some countries, especially human-to-human transmission, worries us,” WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Wednesday.

He named Germany, Vietnam and Japan, where there have been cases of people catching the virus from others who have been to China.

“Although the numbers outside China are still relatively small, they hold the potential for a much larger outbreak,” the WHO chief said.

More people have now been infected in China than during the Sars outbreak in the early 2000s, but the death toll remains far lower.

The United Kingdom, Australia, South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand are expected to quarantine all evacuees for two weeks to monitor them for symptoms and avoid any contagion.— BBC

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