China’s Hubei province, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported 108 new deaths on Thursday.
The provincial health authority’s announcement of deaths in the past 24 hours brought the total to 2,029 in the province. There were 132 deaths reported on Wednesday.
Feb 20, 2020 – The capital city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus is believed to have originated at a seafood and meat market, accounted for 88 deaths, the local health authority said.
The province also reported a sharp drop in newly confirmed cases at 349, compared with 1,693 on Wednesday. Ten out of 15 cities in the provinces tallied reported negative numbers of new cases on Thursday. The authority did not specify the reasons for negative cases in those cities.
These figures raised the province’s total infections to 62,031 since December, when the illness now known as Covid-19 was first reported.
The Diamond Princess, a cruise ship docked off the coast of Yokohama, Japan, remains the location with the largest number of infections outside China, with more than 620 confirmed cases. The ship originally had 3,100 passengers and staff aboard.
Since more than 300 Americans and their family members were evacuated from the ship on Sunday, 14 of them have been tested positive of the virus. The evacuees are currently under a 14-day quarantine.
A Japanese professor who gained access to the Diamond Princess said in a YouTube video posted Tuesday that he was shocked by the lack of infection control measures on board.
More than 100 Americans are still aboard the ship or in hospitals in Japan, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.
Reporting by Jodi Xu Klein @ SCMP