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Deadly coronavirus claims 425 lives in China so far; another 1,500-bed hospital to open soon

Coronavirus outbreak: Chinese President Xi Jinping, presiding over a special meeting of the country’s top Communist Party body for the second time since the crisis started, said “we have launched a people’s war of prevention of the epidemic.”

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Published on: February 04, 2020 6:50 IST
corona death toll
Image Source : AP

China virus death toll rises to 425, total cases now 20,438

The updated death toll due to coronavirus now stands at 425 in China, as the country has reported a total of 20,438 cases of the deadly infection. According to the officials, the new figures, up from 361 deaths and 17,205 confirmed cases, come after the country came up with a new hospital built in 10 days, which infused cash into tumbling financial markets and further restricted people’s movement in hopes of containing the rapidly spreading virus and its escalating impact.

Meanwhile, other nations continue to evacuate their citizens from most affected parts of China and have also restricted the entry of Chinese or people who have recently traveled in the country.

In the province at the epicenter of the outbreak, a specialized 1,000-bed hospital started treating patients and a second hospital with 1,500 beds is to open within days. The World Health Organization said the number of cases will keep growing because tests are pending on thousands of suspected cases.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, presiding over a special meeting of the country’s top Communist Party body for the second time since the crisis started, said “we have launched a people’s war of prevention of the epidemic.”

He told the Politburo standing committee that the country must race against time to curb the spread of the virus and that those who neglect their duties will be punished, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Medical teams from the People’s Liberation Army were arriving in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, to relieve overwhelmed health workers and to staff the new 1,000-bed hospital, located in the countryside far from the city center.

Its prefabricated wards are equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment and ventilation systems. A second hospital with 1,500 beds is due to open within days.

China’s Shanghai Composite stock index plunged nearly 8% on the first day of trading after the Lunar New Year holiday, despite a central bank announcement that it was putting 1.2 trillion yuan ($173 billion) into the markets.

“We are fully confident in and capable of minimizing the epidemic’s impact on the economy,” Lian Weiliang, deputy chief of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a news conference in Beijing.

More than 2,000 hospital workers went on strike earlier in the day, demanding a complete closure of the border, and their union has threatened a bigger walkout Tuesday.

Hong Kong was hit hard by SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, in 2002-03, an illness from the same family of viruses as the current outbreak and which many believe was intensified by official Chinese secrecy and obfuscation.

Also Read | Coronavirus outbreak: China forced to suspend work on aircraft carrier, fighter jets

Also Read | Coronavirus declared as a 'state calamity' in Kerala​

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