Coronavirus death toll rises above 2000, mostly in China

Coronavirus death toll rises above 2000, mostly in China
This scanning electron microscope image shows the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19, isolated from a patient in the US, emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab. Source: NIAID-RML
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Daily US Times: The coronavirus death toll has now crossed 2,000 mark. Nearly all deaths reported in mainland China while 6 deaths occurred outside of the country. More than 75,000 people have been infected with the virus, with 1,000 cases outside mainland China.

On Tuesday, China reported 136 deaths, making the total number surpassed the 2000 mark.

Amid the serious outbreak of the virus, the World Health Organization has some bad news. The organization said that a vaccine against the virus was still at least a year away.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a vaccine would only protect against “the worst situation” of a pandemic, and for now it was important to promote public health solutions to limit the virus’s spread.

Meanwhile, passengers who have tested negative for the novel coronavirus began disembarking from the stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship Wednesday, causing mountains of tensions worldwide.

A total of 545 confirmed cases of the virus have been linked to the ship during its quarantine in Tokyo Bay.

Another death reported in Hong Kong making the death toll there two.

The US has warned that the release of passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that pose an “ongoing risk” of spreading coronavirus. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) commended Japan’s quarantine measures but said they may not be sufficient to prevent transmission among individuals in the ship. The Westerdam docked in Cambodian shore on February 13, after being rejected from five countries.

On the other hand, Cambodia is also releasing the passengers from another cruise ship named Westerdam. A total of 781 passengers from the Westerdam cruise ship are one step closer to returning home after Cambodian health authorities said they had tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

CNN journalist David Culver went to Shanghai, China to see the impact of the virus. He has seen streets in the normally vibrant financial hub are mostly empty and businesses shuttered as fears of the novel coronavirus linger.

Residents of the city are taking extraordinary measures to protect themselves from the virus, with face masks being just one line of defense.

Infected people outside of mainland China is also rising. Singapore, Japan, South Korean has seen a spike in infections. Along with that, the increasing numbers of infected passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship has pushed the total number of cases outside mainland China to at least 1,011 as of today.

More than half of the total cases outside China linked to the cruise ship. South Korea has reported five new cases on Wednesday. A day earlier, the country reported another 15 cases. That makes 20 total, the biggest jump for South Korea in a single day.

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