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Coronavirus: 97 people killed in a day in China on worst day yet

Nearly 100 people died from coronavirus yesterday on the deadliest day of the outbreak so far.  

The death toll in mainland China rose by 97, taking the number of global fatalities to 910. 

Another 3,062 cases were reported in China yesterday – an increase of 15 per cent compared to Saturday which put an end to a series of daily declines.   

The latest surge in deaths is a setback to hopes that China’s drastic quarantine measures might be working. 

The rise in China’s death toll comes as millions of people return to work today after an extended Lunar New Year holiday. 

Roads in Beijing and Shanghai had significantly more traffic than in recent days and the city of Guangzhou was resuming normal public transport today.

However, the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai said 60 per cent of its member companies were planning mandatory work-from-home policies. 

Tens of millions of people in Hubei province were not returning to work, as the province at the centre of the outbreak remained under lockdown.  

China has built two hospitals for virus patients in Wuhan and sent thousands of extra doctors, nurses and other health care workers to the city of 1 million people. 

Most access to Wuhan was suspended on January 23 and restrictions have expanded since then to cities with a total of 60million people. 

China said today that 27 foreigners had been infected with the virus in the country, including two of the country’s 908 deaths. 

Two people have died outside mainland China, one in Hong Kong and the other in the Philippines, taking the global toll to 910. 

More than 360 cases of the virus have been confirmed outside China, bringing the total to at least 40,531.  

The fatality toll has passed the 774 people believed to have died in the 2002-03 SARS outbreak, another viral outbreak that originated in China. 

The total of more than 40,000 confirmed cases of the new virus vastly exceeds the 8,098 sickened by SARS. 

Hong Kong has reported seven more cases, raising its total to 36 after the virus spread at a family gathering attended by two relatives from mainland China. 

Meanwhile in Japan, another 60 people on the Diamond Princess cruise ship were today confirmed to have the virus, taking the total to around 130. 

Passengers on the ship have been confined to their cabins in a two-week lockdown with confirmed virus patients taken to hospital on the mainland.  

World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said there are tentative signs the virus was stabilising, but said there may be more infections abroad in people who have never travelled to China.  

Asian stock markets slid today amid signs that optimism over China’s disease control might be premature.  

Chinese businesses are reeling from anti-disease measures that closed shops, restaurants and factories and disrupted travel. 

The government has promised tax cuts and subsidies to farmers, supermarkets, producers of medical supplies and companies that contribute to anti-disease work.   

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