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  • A medical worker prepares to enter the isolation wards of severe pneumonia inpatients at a hospital in southwest China's Chongqing, Feb. 1, 2020.

    A medical worker prepares to enter the isolation wards of severe pneumonia inpatients at a hospital in southwest China's Chongqing, Feb. 1, 2020. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 1 February 2020
Opinion

Saturday saw 2,590 new confirmed cases, 4,562 new suspected cases, and 45 new deaths. All the deaths are in Hubei Province.

Chinese health authorities Sunday said it received reports of 2,590 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 45 deaths on Saturday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

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All the deaths are in Hubei Province, according to China's National Health Commission.

Another 4,562 new suspected cases were reported on Saturday, said the commission.

Also on Saturday, 315 patients became seriously ill, and 85 people were discharged from hospital after recovery.

The overall confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland had reached 14,380 by the end of Saturday, the commission said, noting that a total of 304 people had died of the disease.

The commission added that 2,110 patients remained in severe condition, and 19,544 people were suspected of being infected with the virus.

A total of 328 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery.

The commission said 163,844 close contacts had been traced, adding that among them, 8,044 were discharged from medical observation on Saturday, with 137,594 others still under medical observation.

By the end of Saturday, 14 confirmed cases had been reported in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), seven in the Macao SAR and ten in Taiwan.

The World Health Organization (WHO) this week declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, but said global trade and travel restrictions are not needed.

However, some countries are responding to fears of the virus spreading by ramping up border controls. Singapore and the United States announced measures on Friday to ban foreign nationals who have recently been in China from entering their territories, and Australia followed suit on Saturday.

Russia introduced visa restrictions and will start evacuating Russian citizens on Monday and Tuesday, Interfax and TASS news agencies reported.

U.S. health officials on Saturday confirmed an eighth case of the coronavirus in the United States, and the Pentagon said it would provide housing for people arriving from overseas who might need to be quarantined. The country has introduced mandatory quarantine for citizens arriving from Hubei.

Specialists point out that the novel coronavirus emerged in Dec. in the city of Wuhan, capital of the province of Hubei, China, more specifically in a market famous for the marketing of exotic meats.

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