The death toll from the novel coronavirus surged past 800 in mainland China on Sunday, overtaking global fatalities in the 2002-03 SARS epidemic.
Bejing| A total of 811 people have died of the novel coronavirus so far and 37,198 confirmed cases have been reported in 31 provincial-level regions in China, according to the commission.
The death toll surpassed the number of fatalities in the 2002-2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS epidemic that started in southern China and killed more than 700 people in the mainland, Hong Kong and elsewhere.
The latest data came after the WHO said the last four days had seen “some stabilising” in Hubei but warned it was “very early to make any predictions” and the figures can still “shoot up”.
Nearly 37,200 people in China have now been affected by the new coronavirus, considered to have emerged late last year in a market that sold wild animals in Hubei’s capital Wuhan, before spreading across the nation and to other countries.
Local authorities have said that the novel coronavirus can spread through direct transmission, contact transmission, or aerosol transmission.
Many of China’s ordinarily swarming cities have almost become ghost towns during the past two weeks, as the Communist Party rulers ordered virtual lockdowns, cancelled flights, closed factories and kept schools shut. Even on Monday, a large number of workplaces will remain closed and many white-collar workers will continue to work from home.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global health emergency. Meanwhile, according to a German University’s research report, India is among the most prone countries to import the virus.
India has so far reported three positive cases of coronavirus, all from Kerala, which has severely affected the tourism industry in the state, according to key industry players.
Governments across the globe have hardened their defences, with several countries banning arrivals from China while major airlines suspended flights.