China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates
China’s central province of Hubei province reported on Thursday at least 108 new deaths from the coronavirus as of the end of Wednesday, bringing to at least 2,112 the number of fatalities nationwide.
The province’s health commission also reported 349 news confirmed cases, significantly down from the 1,693 cases the previous day.
Nationwide, the cases have now reached 74,534.
Meanwhile, two people have died of the virus in Iran, becoming the first fatalities in the Middle East.
Here are all the latest updates:
Thursday, February 20
Pompeo denounces China’s expulsions of WSJ reporters
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has denounced China’s expulsion of three Wall Street Journal reporters and urged Beijing to respect freedom of the press.
“Mature, responsible countries understand that a free press reports facts and expresses opinion. The correct response is to present counter arguments, not restrict speech,” Pompeo said in a statement.
The move follows a complaint about the headline of an opinion article, which referred to China as the “Real Sick Man of Asia” and a decision by Washington earlier this week to treat five government-controlled Chinese news organisations as foreign government functionaries.
All Ukrainians being evacuated from China are healthy: Deputy health minister
All Ukrainians being evacuated from China’s Hubei province this week are in a healthy condition, Dmytro Koval, the deputy health minister, told reporters.
“Everyone is healthy,” he told a televised briefing. “There is no threat”.
Ukraine is evacuating 48 of its citizens in response to the outbreak. They are expected to arrive on a charter plane at .800 local time (0600 GMT) and be put in quarantine for two weeks. A number of foreigners are being evacuated on the same flight.
Man with coronavirus in Egypt recovering, no longer a carrier: WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the person previously confirmed as having coronavirus in Egypt is on his way to recovery, after latest tests showed he was “no longer carrying the virus”.
“He will remain in quarantine until the full 14-day period is over and will be undergoing further required tests to ensure he was fully recovered,” WHO spokeswoman Inas Hamam said in an email.
Two Iranians die after testing positive for virus
Two Iranians have died in hospital after testing positive for the new coronavirus in the central city of Qom, the head of the city’s University of Medical Sciences told Iran’s Mehr news agency, saying the two had died of “respiratory illness”.
Separately, health ministry official Kianush Jahanpur said in a post on Twitter that “both patients died in ICU due to age and immune system deficiency”.
Iran had confirmed the two cases – the first in the country – earlier on Wednesday.
Read the full story here.
Surviving coronavirus in Wuhan
Scrambled eggs with tomatoes – that’s the first dish Yangyang made for herself after being discharged from No 7 Hospital in Wuhan.
After escaping what she describes as a near-death experience, Yangyang is now one of the estimated 14,000 people in mainland China who had beaten the COVID-19 virus.
Read the full story here.
Malaysia firm offers AI-based profiling of Chinese visitors for virus
Malaysia’s MYEG Services Bhd said it had developed a coronavirus risk-profiling system for visitors from China and was offering the artificial intelligence-based serviced to the government of Malaysia and the Philippines.
The fully-automated system analyses a “vast number of available data points, including visitors’ previous known whereabouts as well as heart rate and blood pressure readings crossed-referenced against public transportation ridership and exposure to locations with incidences of infections,” MYEG said in a statement to the stock exchange.
HIV patients in China risk running out of drugs: UNAIDS
HIV patients in China risk running out of life-saving drugs because quarantines and lockdowns aimed at containing the coronavirus disease outbreak mean they cannot replenish vital medicine stocks, the United Nations AIDS agency said.
Nearly a third of the more than 1,000 HIV positive people surveyed by UNAIDS said lockdowns and restrictions on movement in China meant they were at risk of running out of their HIV treatment in the coming days.
Of these, almost half – 48.6 percent – said they did not know where to collect their next antiretroviral therapy refill form.
Read the updates from Wednesday, February 19 here.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies