China coronavirus outbreak

China’s National Health Commission has announced that the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China reached 1,770 as of the end of Sunday, up by 105 from the previous day.

At least 100 of the new deaths were from the province of Hubei, the epicentre of the epidemic, the Commission said on Monday morning. Across the country, there were 2,048 new confirmed infections, about 1,933 from Hubei alone, pushing the new total to 70,548.

On Sunday, Hubei announced tough new measures to try to curb the outbreak, ordering its cities to block roads to all private vehicles. Meanwhile, a newly published speech published speech revealed Chinese President Xi Jinping was aware of the potential severity of the outbreak long before the public was informed.

Monday, February 17
China says WHO delegation to visit Beijing, Guangdong, Sichuan
China says a WHO delegation of experts will visit Beijing, and the provinces of Guangdong and Sichuan from February 17 onwards.

A spokesman for the National Health Commission announced the details of the visit at a media briefing Monday.

US Sate Dept: 14 test positive among US plane evacuees from Japan virus ship
Fourteen people who had tested positive for the new coronavirus were among the more than 300 US citizens and family members evacuated by plane from a quarantined ship in Japan, the US State Department said Monday.

The passengers had already disembarked from the Diamond Princess and were preparing to return to the United States on chartered aircraft when US officials were informed 14 of them who had been tested days earlier were positive for COVID-19, it said in a joint statement with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Health official: Thailand records one new case of coronavirus
Thailand has recorded one new case of coronavirus, bringing the total in the country to 35 since January, a senior health official said on Monday.

The new case is a 60-year old Chinese woman, whose family members earlier contracted the virus, Sukhum Kanchanapimai, the health ministry’s permanent secretary said in a news conference.
Fifteen people have recovered and return home.

Japan cancels Emperor’s birthday public celebrations amid virus fears
Japan said Monday it would cancel a public gathering to celebrate the birthday of new Emperor Naruhito, as fears grow over the spread of the new coronavirus in the country.

“In light of various situations, we have decided to cancel the visit by the general public to the palace for His Majesty’s birthday,” the imperial household agency said in a statement a day after the government warned people to avoid crowds and “non-essential gatherings.”

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