China virus death toll hits 212

China virus death toll hits 212
China virus death toll hits 212

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Taxi drivers in protective suits are seen in front of a residential area, following an outbreak of the new coronavirus and the city’s lockdown, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China January 28, 2020. — China Daily pic via Reuters

BEIJING, Jan 31 — The number of confirmed deaths from China's coronavirus outbreak has risen to 212 after worst-hit Hubei province reported 42 new fatalities today.

The new figures came hours after the World Health Organisation declared a global emergency over the deadly pathogen, which has spread to a number of countries around the world.

The latest numbers indicate that the daily death count is continuing to grow sharply, despite unprecedented measures imposed on Hubei a week ago.

Yesterday, Chinese health officials had reported a nationwide total of 38 deaths, all but one of them in Hubei.

Hubei today also reported 1,220 new cases, slightly more than the previous day.

The WHO had initially downplayed the threat posed by the disease, but revised its risk assessment after crisis talks on Thursday.

“We must all act together now to limit further spread... We can only stop it together,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing in Geneva.

Tedros nevertheless said travel and trade restrictions with China were unnecessary to stem the spread of the virus, which has now been confirmed in more than 15 other countries across the globe.

Many countries have already urged their citizens not to visit China while some have banned entry for travellers from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus first surfaced. — AFP

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