COVID19: Death Toll From Coronavirus Rises To 1,488 As Confirmed Cases Nears 65,000
China on Friday reported 121 more deaths from the coronavirus outbreak, 116 of which are from the epicentre of the infection in Hubei Province alone, bringing to at least 1,488 the total number of deaths across the country.
Hubei and its capital Wuhan, where the infection now known as COVID-19 is thought to have originated in late December, also reported a further 4,823 new cases of the infection, taking the total in the province alone to 51,986.
On Thursday, Chinese health officials had already reported 1,380 deaths.
Nationwide, there are 5,090 new cases pushing the total number to nearly 65,000 as of Friday.
At least 25 countries have confirmed cases and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei. Three deaths have been recorded outside mainland China - one in Hong Kong one in the Philippines, and the most recent in Japan.
Meanwhile China National Health Commission Vice Minister Zeng Yixin said on Friday that 1,716 health workers have been infected by the coronavirus and six of them have died as of Tuesday.
Zeng, at a press conference about protecting medical workers, said the number of infected medical staff is increasing.
Chinese officials and hospitals have repeatedly noted a shortage of protective equipment, including face masks, as the disease took hold in Hubei and spread throughout the country.
The virus, believed to have originated late last year in a seafood market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife, has spread to other Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai.
This prompted the World Health Organization to declare coronavirus a global emergency, as the outbreak continues to spread outside China.
“The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
According to China’s National Health Commission, the coronavirus transmission ability is getting stronger and infections could continue to rise because the knowledge of the new virus was limited.