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Coronavirus toll nearing 500, over 24,000 now infected in China

Beijing: Chinese health authorities said on Wednesday that 490 people had died and more than 24300 had been infected in the country by the novel Coronavirus outbreak until last midnight.

As of Wednesday morning, the global death toll stood at 492 with two deaths reported from the Philippines and Hong Kong.

In India, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that 5123 people were under home surveillance as a precautionary measure for coronavirus. Besides, the ministry also informed that at least 741 tests for nCoV have been done so far.

The surging toll of the epidemic comes in the backdrop of several countries banning visitors from China, several more putting restrictions on those travelling from the worst-hit Hubei province and dozens of airlines cancelling flights to and from the Chinese mainland.

China’s national health commission (NHC) said Wednesday that as of February 4 midnight, China had a total of 24324 confirmed country-wide cases of the infection.

Of the 490 deaths on the mainland, 479 were from Hubei, the central Chinese province where tens of millions of people in at least 15 cities are living in a lockdown with strict restrictions on their exit and entry across the city borders.

All new 65 deaths on Tuesday were reported from Hubei.

The good news is that as many as 892 patients infected with the novel coronavirus had been discharged from hospital after recovery by the end of Tuesday, the NHC said.

“Tuesday saw 262 people walk out of the hospital after recovery (125 in Hubei)”, the National Health Commission said in its daily report.

The province is scrambling to treat patients and contain the outbreak amid a shortage of hospital beds and medical supplies.

A dire shortage of intensive care specialists and hospital beds has contributed to the higher mortality rate in Wuhan, state-controlled China Daily reported on Wednesday.

The mortality rate for known cases of the novel coronavirus is significantly higher in Wuhan, Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, than other parts of the country.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said the deadly outbreak of the novel coronavirus does not constitute a “pandemic”.

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