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Coronavirus death toll crosses 1,800, new study says 3,000 medics infected

China’s cumulative death toll is 1870 whereas more than 72500 people have been infected.

Updated: Feb 18, 2020 14:45 IST

By Sutirtho Patranobis, Beijing

At least 11,741 are severely ill from the infection, which was first reported in Hubei’s capital city, Wuhan, in December. (Reuters image)

More than 1,800 people have died from the coronavirus (covid-19) outbreak in China with 93 new deaths being reported from the worst-hit central Chinese Hubei province last midnight, health officials reported Tuesday morning.

At least 1,807 new cases were reported from the province, a decline from the number of new cases reported on Monday. China’s cumulative death toll is 1870 whereas more than 72500 people have been infected.

At least 11,741 are severely ill from the infection, which was first reported in Hubei’s capital city, Wuhan, in December. The total number of infections in the province climbed to 59,989, out of which 1,789 lost their lives, and 7,862 patients recovered, health officials said.

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Three deaths and nearly 800 confirmed cases have been reported in 25 countries outside China. A team of medical experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) will visit Beijing and the Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Sichuan in south and southwest China from Monday to assess the steps taken by the country to contain the virus’ spread. However, China’s foreign ministry hasn’t mentioned Wuhan or Hubei as part of the WHO team’s itinerary.

A team from Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studied 72,314 cases till February 11, out of which 44,672 were confirmed cases of coronavirus. They also found that more than twice as many Chinese medical workers have been infected as officially reported by the government. As many as 3,019 medical workers had been infected, among whom 1,688 patients were in severe or critical condition.

The large study was published Monday by the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology.

As of February 11, the government had acknowledged that more than 1,700 medical workers were infected, almost 90 percent of them in Hubei, according to Chinese National Health Commission deputy chief Zeng Yixin at a press conference Friday.

The study, titled ‘Analysis of the Epidemiological Features of New Coronavirus Pneumonia’, found that contrary to what was being assumed earlier, the virus was much more infectious than both Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle-Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The report states that, as of now, there is no evidence that a “super spreader” incident has occurred in any of the medical institutions.

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