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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus UPDATE: Thursday afternoon, 1,200+ patients now fully recovered



As of Thursday afternoon, World Health Organisation officials have raised the death toll to 565, with a total of 28,299 cases identified around the world. The number of full recoveries now exceeds 1,200 and rising fast as many of the earlier cases progress to full recovery.

Below we’ve catalogued a lot of the latest news from around the world from the past 24 hours as The Thaiger brings you up to date with coronavirus news.

Coronavirus UPDATE: Thursday afternoon, 1,200+ patients now fully recovered | News by Thaiger

• South Korean electronics giant LG has pulled out of one of the largest tech shows in the world. LG has cancelled its appearance at Mobile World Congress, held each year in Barcelona, Spain. MWC is set to open on February 24 and is the world’s largest mobile-focused tech show. China’s ZTE has also dropped plans for a media conference at the event but will still host a stand.

Meanwhile Sony says “coronavirus could negatively affect production in its factories”, which make components for Apple and Huawei.

• Hong Kong will impose a mandatory 14 day quarantine on all visitors from mainland China as it battles to prevent the spread of a coronavirus outbreak. (Not good if you were going on a three day holiday!) The policy will come into effect from this Saturday but officials refused to close the border entirely. The demands to close the borders 100% by medical authorities, and the HK government’s refusal to do so, has caused the territory’s medical staff to go on strike.

Hong Kong has 21 confirmed cases and one fatality from the current coronavirus outbreak. It suffered 300 deaths from the SARS outbreak in 2002/2003.

• Hong Kong’s legacy airline, Cathay Pacific has sent a memo to staff asking them to take three weeks of unpaid leave as it struggles to cope with the impact of the coronavirus. The HK carrier had already been hit by the effect on passenger sentiment after months of anti-government protests.
Cathay has offered a voluntary special leave scheme to all employees starting March 1-June 30.

This week Cathay also announced it intended to cut services by about 30% over the next two months, including a cut of about 90% in flights into mainland China.

• The UK government has chartered a final flight to bring British nationals back from Wuhan, the city in the centre of the current outbreak. The plane will depart this Sunday and land at RAF Brize Norton. UK citizens in mainland China are being urged to leave China after the outbreak claimed more lives. More than 100 UK nationals have already been repatriated.

• The novel coronavirus has infected more than 28,000 people but relatively few children appear to have developed severe symptoms at this stage. JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, says that cases in children remain rare.

“The median age of patients is between 49 and 56 years.”

The paper, compiled from extensive statistics gathered by the WHO and Chinese authorities since the beginning of the outbreak, asks why more children aren’t getting sick?

Dr. Malik Peiris, chief of virology at the University of Hong Kong, has developed a diagnostic test for the new coronavirus.

“My strong, educated guess is that younger people are getting infected, but they get the relatively milder disease. Scientists may not be seeing more infected children because we don’t have data on the milder cases.”

In one case, a 10 year old visited Wuhan with his family. Once heading back to their home in Shenzhen, near the border of Hong Kong, the other infected family members, aged 36 to 66, developed fever, sore throat, diarrhea and pneumonia.

• The most cases of coronavirus confirmed in a single day were reported in the past 24 hours, according to the World Health Organisation.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General,  told a news conference in Geneva yesterday of the large number of new cases. He also noted, statistically, that the rise in sheer numbers doesn’t mean the disease is spreading any faster than in the past.

“In the last 24 hours we had the most cases in a single day since the outbreak started.”

Health officials reported coronavirus infections in mainland China rose sharply yesterday with 3,887 additional cases and 65 new deaths reported.


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