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COVID-19: Death toll in China passes 2,500; WHO experts visit Wuhan

Workers wearing protective gears spray disinfectant as a precaution against the COVID-19 at a local market in Daegu, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020.

Workers wearing protective gears spray disinfectant as a precaution against the COVID-19 at a local market in Daegu, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AP

China's numbers of daily new infections have been on a downward trend, but health authorities have sowed confusion about the data by repeatedly changing counting methods

China's death toll from the new coronavirus rose to 2,592 on February 24, after the National Health Commission reported 150 more fatalities, all but one in the epicentre of Hubei province. Monday's death toll was a jump on the 97 deaths reported Sunday. The commission also confirmed a total of 409 new cases in China, with all but 11 in Hubei.

The coronavirus has spread to more than 25 countries and is causing mounting alarm due to new pockets of outbreaks in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Italy reported a third death while cases spiked, and authorities suspended football games while the Venice Carnival was cut short. Iran's confirmed death toll rose to eight, prompting travel bans from neighbouring countries.

Experts visit Wuhan

Experts from the World Health Organization have visited the locked-down central Chinese city at the epicentre of the deadly global coronavirus outbreak, Chinese authorities said Monday.

The trip over the weekend is the first reported visit to Wuhan by the WHO since the virus emerged from the city of 11 million people late last year.

Listen: Coronavirus outbreak: the view from China | In Focus podcast

The international group of experts led by the WHO inspected two hospitals during their visit, including a makeshift one at a sports centre, the National Health Commission said on Monday.

They also met with Ma Xiaowei, the director of China's national health commission, and top officials at the centre for disease control for Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital.

The WHO has praised Beijing for its handling of the epidemic. But China has been criticised at home for silencing early warnings from a whistleblower doctor who later died from the virus.

China's numbers of daily new infections have been on a downward trend, but health authorities have sowed confusion about the data by repeatedly changing counting methods.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 12:33:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/covid-19-death-toll-in-china-passes-2-500-who-experts-visit-wuhan/article30901186.ece

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