BEIJING (AFP) – The number of fatalities from China s new coronavirus epidemic jumped to 1,110 nationwide on Wednesday (Feb 12) after hard-hit Hubei province reported 94 new deaths.
In its daily update, Hubei s health commission also confirmed another 1,638 new cases in the central province, where the outbreak emerged in December.
There are now more than 44,200 confirmed cases across China, based on previously released figures from the government.
The new virus is believed to have emerged last year in a market that sells wild animals in Hubei s capital Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak.
China s senior medical adviser said on Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak in the country may be over by April, and the latest numbers of new cases may further feed that optimism.
Hubei, the province at the epicentre of the outbreak that has been under virtual lockdown, reported 94 people died.
Its 1,068 cases as of Tuesday is down from a peak of over 3,000 new cases on Feb 4, and the lowest number of new infections since 1,347 were reported on Jan 31.
The virus was officially named “COVID-19” at a conference in Geneva held by the World Health Organization, where the body s chief said countries had a chance of stopping its global spread.
WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday that although 99 per cent of cases are in China, where it remains “very much an emergency”, it also “holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world.”
He urged countries to share data in order to further research the disease.
Chinese authorities dismissed two senior health officials from Hubei on Tuesday, where tens of millions of people have been under lockdown since late last month, and tightened restrictions in its capital Wuhan.