The coronavirus death toll in China climbed to 2,943 with 31 more deaths, while 125 confirmed cases were reported, the lowest since the virus outbreak in the country, Chinese health officials said on Tuesday even as the deadly disease wrecked havoc globally with the total number of deaths crossing 3,000 and infections surging past 89,000.
China’s National Health Commission, (NHC) said it received reports of 125 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 31 deaths on Monday in the country.
According to the World Health Organisation, there are 89,527 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,056 deaths reported globally in 67 countries.
In terms of confirmed cases in China, officials said Monday’s numbers were the lowest since the country began to report about the coronavirus epidemic, showing signs of stabilising, especially in the Chinese mainland.
All the deaths were in Hubei Province and its capital Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, the officials said, adding that of the 125 new confirmed cases reported on Monday, 114 are from Hubei.
NHC said the overall confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland had reached 80,151 by the end of Monday.
This included 2,943 people who died of the disease so far, 30,004 patients still undergoing treatment and 47,204 patients discharged after recovery, the officials said.
In Hubei province, the total confirmed cases climbed to 67,217 and total deaths rose to 2,834, including 2,251 in Wuhan, local health commission said.
Wuhan reported 111 confirmed cases and 24 deaths on Monday.
A total of 2,410 patients were discharged from hospital after recovery in the province, bringing the total number of patients in the province to 36,167.
Among the 25,050 patients in hospitals, 5,407 were still in severe condition and another 1,186 in critical condition, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
All over China, 2,742 people were discharged from hospitals after recovery on Monday, while the number of severe cases decreased by 304 to 6,806.
The commission said that 587 people were still suspected to be infected with the virus.
By the end of Monday, 100 confirmed cases including two deaths had been reported in Hong Kong, 10 confirmed cases in Macao and 41 in Taiwan, including one death.
With the virus spreading at a rapid pace globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it is an infectious disease caused by a new coronavirus introduced to humans for the first time and it can be contained with the right measures.
Noting that knowing and understanding the epidemic is the first step to defeating it, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted on Monday that “we are in unchartered territory with COVID-19. We have never before seen a respiratory pathogen that is capable of community transmission.”
“It spreads from person to person mainly through the droplets produced when an infected person speaks, coughs or sneezes,” Ghebreyesus, who visited China in January, said.
A 12-member WHO team also visited the virus-hit areas in China and submitted a detailed report.
Ghebreyesus said containment of COVID-19 is still feasible and must remain the top priority for all countries right now, though there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
“Our message to all countries is: this is not one-way street. We can push this coronavirus back,” he said.
“Your actions now will determine the course of the COVID-19 outbreak in your country. There’s no choice but to act now,” he said.
WHO has been advising countries to take actions on the “first case, first cluster, first evidence of community transmission.”
Meanwhile, Ghebreyesus also deplored stigmatizing during the outbreak, which he said is “more dangerous than coronavirus itself.”
“It is painful to witness the level of stigma we are seeing. We are not angels, we are human beings, but we can do the right thing,” state-run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.