By K J M Varma :
THE death toll from the coronavirus epidemic in China has climbed to 2,118 with the death of 114 more people, while the overall confirmed cases increased to 74,576, Chinese officials said on Thursday. China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said the new confirmed cases declined to 394, registering the biggest drop since December when the first case was reported in Wuhan city in the central Hubei Province. The NHC said on Thursday that it received reports of 114 deaths on Wednesday from 31 provincial-level regions.
The overall confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland reached 74,576 and 2,118 people died of the deadly disease. The commission added that 4,922 people were still suspected of being infected with the virus. Among the deaths, 108 were in Hubei Province, the epicentre of the virus and one each from Hebei, Shanghai, Fujian, Shandong, Yunnan and Shaanxi, it said. The worst-hit Hubei Province and its provincial capital Wuhan which were the ground zero of the virus reported 349 new confirmed cases and 108 new deaths on Wednesday.
The latest report brought the total confirmed cases in the Hubei province to 62,031, the NHC said. It said, China’s daily new confirmed cases of the virus also known as COVID-19 outside Hubei province have dropped for 16 consecutive days indicating that the epidemic is largely confined to Hubei province and Wuhan city. A total of 45 new confirmed cases were reported on Wednesday outside Hubei, down from 890 on February 3, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. In Hubei too the cases are coming down, it said. Significantly, China’s daily number of newly cured and discharged novel coronavirus patients has surpassed that of new confirmed infections for a second consecutive day, the NHC said.
On Wednesday, 1,779 people were discharged from the hospitals after recovery, much higher than the number of the same day’s new confirmed infections, which stands at 394, it said. So far, a total of 16,155 patients infected with the novel coronavirus have been discharged from the hospitals after recovery by the end of Wednesday, it said. In Hong Kong, 65 confirmed cases, including two deaths have been reported by the end of Wednesday. Macau reported 10 confirmed cases followed by 24 in Taiwan, including one death.
Pakistani parents want children back from virus-struck Wuhan within 3 days
ANGRY parents of hundreds of Pakistani students stuck in China’s coronavirus-hit Hubei province have served a three-day ultimatum to the Government to evacuate their children as they confronted senior officials for being insensitive to their plight, according to media reports on Thursday. “You cannot understand our plight because this is a matter concerning our children, not yours,” one of the parents shouted at Prime Minister’s Special Advisers on Health and Overseas Pakistanis, Dr Zafar Mirza and Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, as they held a briefing session here for the parents of children studying in Hubei province on the orders of the Islamabad High Court. Many students and their families have expressed growing frustration as the death toll in China mounted, pointing to other countries, including neighbouring India and Bangladesh, evacuating their citizens from Wuhan city and Hubei province, ‘The Express Tribune’ reported. The Government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan has so far ruled out bringing home the more than 1,000 students in Hubei province and its capital Wuhan.
China cuts loan rate
CHINA on Thursday announced it would cut interest rates in a bid to boost the economy, as it battles the economic fallout of the new coronavirus outbreak. The reduction in the loan prime rate (LPR) -- one of the preferential rates commercial banks give to their best customers and which serves as a reference for other lending rates -- is the latest measure to help companies struggling through the epidemic. The one-year LPR was lowered to 4.05 per cent from 4.15 per cent, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) said in a statement.