UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The death toll from the newly borne Coronavirus, Saturday, exceeded 1,500 in China, while Egypt had the first infection in Africa.
On Friday, the Egyptian Ministry of Health announced the discovery of the first confirmed infection with the virus on the African continent. The victim, who is not Egyptian, was placed in quarantine.
More than 66,000 people have been infected in China, including at least 1,716 cases among doctors and nurses working directly with patients, according to the National Health Committee.
The authorities announced the death of six medical personnel, pointing to the dangers they face in overcrowded hospitals. Most of the deaths were among medical personnel in Wuhan, the capital of central China’s Hubei Province and the epicenter of the epidemic, which was called by the international organization Sakha 19-Covid.
The announcement of the number of injuries among hospital workers comes a week after the death of a doctor who tried to alert the authorities to the epidemic, but the police silenced him. His death from the virus sparked anger on social media.
Because of the influx of patients to Hubei hospitals and the shortage of masks and protective clothing, some doctors and nurses find themselves at high risk.
The Health Committee in Hubei announced Saturday that during the past 24 hours, the epidemic had claimed 139 lives and injured 2420 additional people, an outcome equivalent to half of the number who contracted the virus the previous day. The total number of new casualties in mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macao) is 2,641.
In addition, four deaths were recorded outside Hubei, bringing the number of deaths recorded in mainland China since the epidemic, to 1523.
China’s “Big Test”
In China, 99.9% of the deaths recorded in the world are caused by the epidemic. Outside mainland China, to date only three deaths have been recorded, one in Hong Kong, the other in the Philippines and the third in Japan.
Chinese President Xi Jinping acknowledged Friday that facing the epidemic is “a great test of the country’s system of government and its ability to govern.” He said in remarks during a meeting of the Communist Party of China that the epidemic revealed “deficiencies”, calling for improving the national health system.
On the American side, after Washington congratulated Beijing for its “professional work”, the White House on Thursday expressed a different position. “We are somewhat disappointed at the lack of transparency in the Chinese handling of this file,” declared Larry Kudlow, the chief economic adviser to US President Donald Trump. And I regret Beijing’s refusal of Washington’s proposals to send American experts to China.
In response to a question on this topic, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Jing Shuang announced Friday that Beijing has adopted “transparency” with the international community since the outbreak of the virus began. “China has always pursued positive and open cooperation with the United States,” he added.
WHO defends China
The World Health Organization defended Beijing Friday, stressing that the Chinese government “cooperates with us, invites international experts, shares the genetic strains (of the virus) and continues to work with the outside world.”
On Thursday, health authorities in Hubei surprised everyone by announcing an expansion of their definition of people with HIV (Kovid-19).
It changed the system adopted to monitor the epidemic, as it now counts “clinically diagnosed” cases, meaning that a radiographic image of the lungs is sufficient to diagnose the infection, while it was waiting before that DNA testing of the virus to confirm infection.
This new method has led to an increase in the number of deaths and injuries, with the announcement of an increase of 15 thousand in the number of injuries Thursday and about five thousand new injuries on Friday.
The official in charge of the emergency health department at the World Health Organization, Michael Ryan, said that these figures indicate a situation more serious than the situation that had been reported so far, but that “this does not constitute a tangible change in the course of the epidemic.”
– Two parts from the world.
Wuhan, where the virus first appeared in December, and the surrounding Hubei Province, Saturday, are cut off from the world by a tight, healthy collar that has been in effect for more than three weeks.
On Thursday, the two officials of the ruling Communist Party in Hubei and Wuhan who had been criticized by public opinion for managing the crisis were sacked.
In other countries of the world, the health authorities are still on alert due to the epidemic, with hundreds of infections recorded in more than twenty countries.
On Friday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that people in the United States had symptoms of colds, but after they had negative results, they underwent tests to see if they were infected with the emerging coronavirus.
The main injury center remains outside China, the quarantined “Diamond Princess” ship in Japan near Yokohama (east), with 218 injuries recorded.
For its part, the US embassy in Tokyo announced Saturday that the United States intends to send a plane on Sunday to evacuate the Americans on board the “Diamond Princess”.
And Friday, the Japanese authorities allowed the evacuation of some elderly or suffering from a healthy fragility, after new tests revealed that they are not infected with the virus.
The American cruise ship “Westerdam” is docked in Cambodia, where its passengers will be able to get off. She had been at sea for more than ten days after five Asian ports refused to allow her to dock for fear of the epidemic.
In France, Friday, 181 people who were evacuated from Wuhan left a health center in Marseille (south), where they were quarantined for 14 days.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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