The death toll from China’s coronavirus epidemic jumped past 1,600 on Sunday, as the World Health Organization (WHO) praised the country’s efforts to contain the new disease, saying they have “bought the world time” and that other nations must make the most of it.
France, meanwhile, reported Europe’s first death from the infection, known as COVID-19, a Chinese tourist from Hubei province, where the disease emerged in December.
More than two dozen countries have confirmed cases and several have suspended trade and travel links with China in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, urged governments to step up their efforts to prepare for the virus, saying “it’s impossible to predict which direction this epidemic will take.”
The agency is “concerned by the continued increase in the number of cases in China,” and by reports about the number of health workers who have been infected or died, Tedros said, criticising what he called a “lack of urgency in funding the response from the international community”.
Here are all the latest updates:
China virus toll exceeds 1,600
The number of deaths from the coronavirus epidemic jumped past 1,600 in China after 139 more people died in hard-hit Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak.
In its daily update, the province’s health commission also reported 1,843 fresh cases – the third day that reported new infections declined in the province.
At least 1,662 people have now died from the outbreak that first emerged in Hubei’s capital, Wuhan, in December and spiralled into a nationwide epidemic.
More than 68,000 people have now been infected, with most deaths occurring in Hubei.
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