By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) – The coronavirus death toll in China has reached 1,380 in China, while 63,851 others were confirmed to have been affected by the deadly virus, health officials said on Friday.
Officials said that 121 deaths were reported on Thursday while new 5,090 cases of coronavirus infection, now officially known as COVID-19, were reported the same day, Xinhua news agency reported.
China's National Health Commission said most of the deaths occurred in the Hubei province. The new disease originated in Wuhan, Hubei’s capital, last December.
Some 10,204 patients are said to be in severe condition, as over 6,723 patients have recovered after treatment.
Two deaths were reported outside China, one in the Philippines and one in Japan. One person also died of the virus in China’s Hong Kong autonomous region.
A total of 505 cases of COVID-19 have been reported across the globe as the virus spread to more than 20 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Canada.
Two new hospitals have also been constructed in a record 10 days’ time to treat patients.
The virus is said to have been transmitted to humans from animals, particularly bats.
Many states, including Turkey, have evacuated their citizens from affected areas of China, placing them in isolated medical care.
The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.
- 2,500-bed hospitals in Wuhan
The Chinese built two hospitals in Wuhan with a combined capacity of 2,500 beds. One of them, Huoshenshan Hospital, was completed in just 10 days and nights.
Medical teams are doing door-to-door visits to ensure no patient is left unattended. At least 11 mobile hospitals are working to treat patients who test positive for the virus but show no severe symptoms, Chinese authorities said.
- Medical staff shave heads to avoid spread of virus
Beijing has rushed at least 11,000 medical staff besides armed forces personnel to Hubei province to treat the patients.
Many female medical staff working in Wuhan have shaved off their hair to avoid cross-infection and save time when wearing and taking off protective suits.
A special laboratory was also set up in Wuhan to carry out 10,000 infection tests daily to speed up the diagnoses.
- Japanese doctor tests positive
A surgeon in his fifties has become first doctor in Japan to be infected with COVID-19.
The case was found in western Japan. The doctor had symptoms of fever and fatigue on Jan. 31 and was diagnosed with pneumonia on Feb. 8, and was hospitalized two days later, Kyodo news reported.
A man in his seventies who was treated at the same hospital where the doctor worked was confirmed to have been infected with the same virus, local officials said today.
The man has developed severe pneumonia and has been shifted to a different medical facility.
Nearly 250 others have been affected by the virus in Japan.
Most of the affected people are aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has been quarantined in Yokohama province, south of the capital Tokyo. Around 3,700 passengers and crew from 56 countries and regions are on board the vessel.
Meanwhile, authorities in South Korea said today that there were no new cases of the fatal virus reported anywhere in the country.
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Coronavirus death toll in China rises to 1,380
By Riyaz ul Khaliq