International

Virus cases jump beyond epicentre

Medical workers wearing protective gear transfer a suspected COVID-19 patient to another hospital from Daenam Hospital where a total of 16 infections have now been identified with the coronavirus, in Cheongdo county near the South Korean city of Daegu on February 21, 2020.

Medical workers wearing protective gear transfer a suspected COVID-19 patient to another hospital from Daenam Hospital where a total of 16 infections have now been identified with the coronavirus, in Cheongdo county near the South Korean city of Daegu on February 21, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Spike in South Korean infections linked to church; vaccine trial set for April

The new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has infected hundreds of people in Chinese prisons, authorities said on Friday, contributing to a jump in reported cases beyond the epidemic’s epicentre in Hubei province, including 100 more in South Korea.

The 234 infections among prisoners outside Hubei ended 16 straight days of declines in new mainland cases excluding that province, where the virus emerged in December in its locked-down capital, Wuhan.

Also read| Wuhan doctor who postponed wedding to treat patients dies | Death toll in China touches 2,200

State television quoted Communist Party rulers as saying the turning point in combating the outbreak had not yet been reached, and more than 30 cases in a hospital in Beijing highlighted a sharp jump in the tally there.

Total cases in the capital of the disease — known as COVID-19 — were at 396 with four deaths, out of an official mainland toll of 75,400 cases and 2,236 deaths.

 

Vice Science and Technology Minister Xu Nanping said China’s earliest vaccine would be submitted for clinical trials around late April. That timetable is in line with a World Health Organization estimate of a vaccine reaching the market in 18 months.

As international authorities seek to stop the virus from becoming a global pandemic, public health officials are hoping for signs that the arrival of warmer weather in the northern hemisphere might slow its spread.

The spike in cases in two jails outside Hubei — in the northern province of Shandong and Zhejiang in the east — made up most of the 258 newly confirmed Chinese infections outside the epicentre province.

The virus has emerged in 26 countries and territories outside mainland China, killing 11 people.

South Korea reported 100 new cases, taking its total to 204, most in Daegu, where scores were infected in what authorities called a ”super-spreading event” at a church, traced to an infected 61-year-old woman who attended services.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 2:08:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/virus-cases-jump-beyond-epicentre/article30883419.ece

Next Story