Around 1,500 dead, 65,000 infected: Coronavirus cases in China remain high

              Friday February 14, 2020

              In China, the number of people infected with the coronavirus and those who died from it remains high. Compared to Thursday, when the number of cases had skyrocketed after a change in the diagnostic methods, they are falling.
              According to the new way of counting virus cases in China, the number of confirmed infections has risen again sharply. In the severely affected province of Hubei in central China alone, 4,823 infections were detected within a day, according to the provincial health commission, according to state television. This increases the number nationwide to almost 65,000. In Hubei alone, 116 patients died of the disease. This means that almost 1,500 deaths have been reported across the country. However, experts are also cautious about the new numbers and fear a high number of unreported cases: on Thursday, the number of newly confirmed infections had already increased dramatically by 15,000, because the new counting method also included the clinical diagnoses of lung disease from the past few weeks. Since the DNA tests can often not be used to determine the infection in the laboratory, cases are now also included in which doctors have diagnosed pneumonia, fever, breathing problems and other typical symptoms and can therefore diagnose the infection without a laboratory test. In the 4823 new infections with the Sars-CoV-2 virus on Friday in Hubei, 3095 such cases were counted with only clinical diagnoses, as reported by the Health Commission. However, the new counting method is only used in the province of Hubei, not in the rest of the country. This is to treat patients appropriately faster and prevent the spread of the virus more effectively. The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomed the new approach. It allows people in Hubei to be isolated and treated more quickly, and contacts to be monitored earlier. As the hospitals in Hubei and their medical staff are completely overwhelmed by the high number of patients, more than 21,000 medical professionals have already been deployed to the crisis region from other parts of the country, as the Xinhua news agency reported tens of millions of Chinese who return to work from their home villages after the New Year's holiday, which has been prolonged due to the epidemic, are growing worries about the spread of the virus. An infection was found in a member of the cleaning staff on a high-speed train, according to Chinese press reports, which raised fears of infection in the train. Outside of mainland China, around 580 cases have been confirmed in more than two dozen countries, most of them in Japan. There was a cluster of more than 200 cases on the cruise ship "Diamond Princess" off Yokohama. Asian countries are therefore reluctant to let cruise ships enter their ports. For example, the "Aidavita" with around 1100 passengers, mostly from Germany and 400 crew members, was unable to moor in Vietnam as planned. The shipping company emphasized that there were no virus cases on board. The ship also did not call a Chinese port.

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