25 February 2020   1. Rajab 1441
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Wednesday, 29 January 2020 15:54

Coronavirus outbreak death toll rises

The death toll in China from a deadly new coronavirus rose to 132 with the number of cases reaching nearly 6,000 - more than during the SARS epidemic of 2002-03.

Japan and the United States began evacuating hundreds of citizens from Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak.

Authorities said on Wednesday the number of confirmed cases across the country climbed to 5,974, while the death toll nationwide rose by 26.

All of those new deaths were in Hubei except for one, which was in a province just to the north. Wuhan is the capital of Hubei.

More than 56 million people in almost 20 Chinese cities, including Wuhan, have been prevented from travelling in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus during the Lunar New Year or spring festival, traditionally China's busiest travel season.

The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, met China's President Xi Jinping on Tuesday.

WHO has acknowledged the respiratory illness is an emergency in China but said last week it was too early to declare the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. However, it has described the global risk from the virus as high.

Darul Ihsan Media Desk

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