China, Coronavorus

China ramped up measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic and shore up an economy hit by travel curbs and business shut-downs on Sunday as the first death from the illness was reported outside the country.

Here are the latest developments:

** A 44-year-old Chinese man travelled to the Philippines and died on Saturday in a hospital in Manila, the Philippines Department of Health said.

** His death brought the total death toll to 305. All the other people died in mainland China.

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** Across China, 2,590 new infections were confirmed on Saturday, the largest daily increase, bringing the total to 14,380, according to the country’s National Health Commission.

** Infections have also been reported in more than two dozen other countries and territories, including Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Spain, Thailand, and the United States.

** China’s central bank said it would inject 1.2 trillion yuan ($173.8 billion) worth of liquidity into markets via reverse repo operations on Monday as the country prepares to reopen its stock markets after an extended Lunar New Year holiday.

** The government said it will help firms that produce vital goods resume work as soon as possible.

** Chinese data suggest the virus is less deadly than the 2002-03 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people of the some 8,000 it infected.

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** The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, but said global trade and travel restrictions are not needed.

** However airlines have suspended or scaled back direct flights to China’s major cities.

** The United States, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, and Vietnam are among countries that have denied entry to foreign nationals who have recently been in China.

** The United States has reported its first case of person-to-person transmission inside its territory. Germany, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea have recorded similar infections, suggesting greater potential for spreading.

** China’s central city of Wuhan and the surrounding province of Hubei – the centre of the epidemic – are under a virtual quarantine.

Reuters

Vanguard News

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