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China: COVID-19 deaths continue amid slowing spread

At least 21 new cases of novel coronavirus in mainland China 13 die on Monday, says National Health Commission

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 17.03.2020
China: COVID-19 deaths continue amid slowing spread


China on Tuesday announced that only one new case of the novel coronavirus had been confirmed in Wuhan -- the epicenter of the outbreak, though the death toll in the province continues to rise.

Wuhan, the capital of the central Hubei province, reported 11 of a total of 12 deaths on Monday, according to the country's National Health Commission (NHC). 

"On March 16, 31 provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland as well as the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps reported 21 new cases of confirmed infections, 45 new cases of suspected infections, and 13 deaths (12 in Hubei province and 1 in Shaanxi province)," said a statement by the NHC.

"Hubei reported 1 new case of confirmed infections (in Wuhan), no new cases of suspected infections, and 12 deaths (11 in Wuhan). 893 patients were released from hospital after being cured, including 836 in Wuhan," the NHC statement added.

The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the country has reached 3,226, including 3,111 in Hubei province since the outbreak of the disease. At least 80,881 others in China have been infected.

The coronavirus was first reported from Wuhan city, the capital of Hubei in December last year. It has spread to over 150 countries and territories resulting in the deaths of over 7,100, while 182,725 others have been infected.

The NHC said there were another 20 cases imported from abroad as of Monday. Nine such cases were found in Beijing, three in Shanghai, three in Guangdong and one each in the Zhejiang, Shandong, Guangxi, Yunnan and Shaanxi provinces.

There were at least 143 imported cases in mainland China as of Monday night, the NHC added.

Hong Kong extends school shutdown

The autonomous Hong Kong region announced on Tuesday that schools would remain closed for a longer period than originally planned.

In a media briefing, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said it was "not possible" to resume all classes on April 20 because of the current public health situation, the daily Hong Kong Free Press reported.

"We will be starting with the oldest students in the senior secondary [education], so the chances [of] very young kids [going] back to school within one to two months will be quite slim," she added.

NHC said that by Monday night, 157 confirmed cases including four deaths had been reported in the Hong Kong, 11 confirmed cases in the Macao and 67 in Taiwan, where there has been one death.

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