Nepal | August 08, 2020

Coronavirus cases in China epicentre fall, cruise ship disembarks in Cambodia

Reuters
Share Now:
  • Hubei new cases rise by 4,823, 116 new deaths
  • Passengers start disembarking cruise ship in Cambodia
  • Trump lauds China’s response, top adviser more critical
  • Global markets rally stalls as virus concerns return
  • China sacks provincial Communist Party bosses

BEIJING/TOKYO: The death toll from a coronavirus outbreak in China’s Hubei province rose by 116 on Friday, health officials said, less than half the number of deaths from the day before, when Japan reported its first fatality.

Hubei province’s health commission said it had recorded 4,823 new cases of the flu-like virus that emerged in the provincial capital, Wuhan, in December.

The number infections was down sharply on the previous day, when a change in the methods of diagnosing patients led to a record spike in cases.

The epidemic has given China’s ruling Communist Party one of its sternest challenges in years, constrained the world’s second-largest economy and triggered a purge of provincial bureaucrats.

Japan confirmed its first coronavirus death on Thursday – a woman in her 80s living in Kanagawa prefecture near Tokyo – adding to two previous fatalities in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Japan is one of the worst affected of more than two dozen countries and territories outside mainland China that have seen hundreds of infections from the flu-like sickness.

A cruise liner quarantined off a Japanese port has more than 200 people confirmed with the disease. Authorities have said they will allow some elderly people to disembark on Friday.

Passengers on another cruise ship that spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries over coronavirus fears started disembarking in Cambodia on Friday.

The MS Westerdam, carrying 1,455 passengers and 802 crew, docked in the Cambodian port town of Sihanoukville on Thursday. It had anchored offshore early in the morning to allow Cambodian officials to board and collect samples from passengers with any signs of ill health or flu-like symptoms.

TRUMP PRAISES CHINESE RESPONSE

The surge of new cases reported on Thursday dented hopes the epidemic might soon be reaching a peak and halted a global stocks rally.

However, the rise in China’s reported cases reflected a decision by authorities there to reclassify a backlog of suspected cases by using patients’ chest images, and is not necessarily the “tip of an iceberg” of a wider epidemic, a top World Health Organization official said on Thursday.

Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s health emergencies programme, said more than 14,000 new cases reported in Hubei province on Thursday came after a change to include results from quicker computerised tomography (CT) scans that reveal lung infections, rather than relying just on laboratory tests to confirm cases.

“We’ve seen this spike in the number of cases reported in China, but this does not represent a significant change in the trajectory of the outbreak,” Ryan told a briefing in Geneva.

U.S. President Donald Trump praised China over its response and said Washington was working closely with Beijing. “I think they’ve handled it professionally, and I think they’re extremely capable,” Trump said in a podcast broadcast on iHeart Radio.

But Trump’s top White House economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, was more critical. “We’re a little disappointed in the lack of transparency coming from the Chinese, these numbers are jumping around … there was some surprise,” he told reporters.

BACKLASH AGAINST BUREAUCRATS

The outbreak, believed to have emerged from a Wuhan market where wildlife was traded illegally, has triggered a backlash against local political leaders.

Provincial Communist Party boss Jiang Chaoliang was fired as secretary of the Hubei Provincial Committee, and Ma Guoqiang removed as party chief in Wuhan, state media said. They were the two highest-profile officials to be axed since the outbreak.

Economists have assessing the impact of the outbreak on the world’s second-largest economy and scaling back their expectations for growth this year.

China’s economy will grow at its slowest rate since the global financial crisis in the current quarter, according to a Reuters poll of economists who said the downturn will be short-lived if the outbreak is contained.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Sevilla, Leverkusen cruise into Europa League quarter-finals

Five-times winners Sevilla made light work of AS Roma when first half goals from Sergio Reguilon and Youssef En-Nesyri gave them a 2-0 win over AS Roma and sent them into the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday. Sevilla's win, in a tie reduced to a single match played in Duisberg, Ge Read More...

Mexico, coronavirus outbreak;

Mexico's coronavirus death toll tops 50,000

MEXICO CITY: Mexico's health ministry on Thursday reported 6,590 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 819 fatalities, bringing the country's totals to 462,690 cases and 50,517 deaths. The virus is spreading quickly; just over two weeks ago, the health ministry reported 40,000 deaths. M Read More...

University of Washington forecasts 300,000 US COVID-19 deaths

WASHINGTON: Nearly 300,000 Americans could be dead from COVID-19 by Dec. 1, University of Washington health experts forecast on Thursday, although they said 70,000 lives could be saved if people were scrupulous about wearing masks. The prediction by the university's widely cited Institute for Read More...

MoWCSC

Licence of child care home seized

Kathmandu, August 6 The National Child Rights Council, under the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens, seized the licence of Kapan-based Care Child Orphanage following the rescue of 11 children sheltering there yesterday. Stating that the orphanage had violated the provisions in the Read More...

Covid-19 positive Province 2 home minister in home isolation

JANAKPURDHAM/KATHMANDU, AUGUST 6 Province 2 Internal Affairs and Law Minister Gyanendra Yadav has contracted COVID and has been staying in ‘isolation at his home as per the doctor’s advice’ since he tested positive for the virus’. Yadav, who is asymptomatic, has urged everyone who Read More...

Student enrolment remains uncertain

Kathmandu, August 6 Mainly private schools in the country have been running online classes. However, due to poor internet facility and frequent power cuts, online classes have not been effective in Nepal. Preparations to resume student enrolment since August 17 have been marred by increasin Read More...

Community spread feared in Siraha

Siraha, August 6 The spread of COVID-19 in the community has caused terror in Siraha of late. Just yesterday, four persons involved in different occupations tested positive for the virus here, according to District Health Office. Two of the four are health professionals of a polyclinic; one Read More...

VTM crunch hits Banke

Nepalgunj, August 6 The shortage of Viral Transport Medium used for collecting and transporting swab samples has hit the health offices in Banke. The local levels bought the VTMs and offered them to health offices as they did not have it. Mayor of Nepalgunj sub-metropolis Dhawal Shamsher Ra Read More...