China has reported 28 new fatalities from the deadly coronavirus outbreak, taking the death toll in the country to 3,070, Chinese health officials said on Saturday as the rapid spread of the epidemic hit a milestone, infecting more than 100,000 people globally. The virus that first emerged in China in December last year has spread to 97 countries and has infected 102,180 people, including 80,651 in China, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus tracker.
China's National Health Commission (NHC) on Saturday said it received reports of 99 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection and 28 deaths on Friday on the Chinese mainland. The 28 deaths were all reported in the virus epicentre Hubei Province and its capital Wuhan, the NHC said.
Meanwhile, 99 new suspected cases were reported it said, a significant milestone in China's over two-month-long fight against the dreaded virus as the cases have for the first time dropped below 100. The overall confirmed cases on the mainland have reached 80,651 by the end of Friday. This included 3,070 people who had died of the virus, 22,177 patients still undergoing treatment and 55,404 others who were discharged after recovery, the NHC said.
Also on Friday, 24 imported cases (people coming to China from abroad) of the novel coronavirus infection were reported on the mainland, including 17 in Gansu Province, three in Beijing, three in Shanghai and one in Guangdong Province. By the end of Friday, 60 imported cases were reported, the NHC said.
By the end of Friday, 107 confirmed cases, including two deaths have been reported in Hong Kong, 10 confirmed cases in the Macao SAR, and 45 in Taiwan, including one death have been reported. While the cases of the COVID-19 in China are on the decline about 19,700 more cases were reported globally taking the overall total of the cases, including from China to over a lakh, state-run CGTN reported.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday that additional five countries -- the Philippines, New Zealand, Ireland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia -- have seen local transmission of the COVID-19. Outside China, a total of 97 countries and regions have reported. Bhutan, Cameroon, Serbia and South Africa have reported cases of the COVID-19 for the first time in the past 24 hours as of Friday morning, the WHO report said.
According to the tracker, in the US, at least 299 cases of coronavirus have been detected and 14 people have died due to it. In Italy, 4,636 have been detected and 197 have died. In Iran, 4,747 cases of the COVID-19 have been reported and 124 people have died.
With 31 people now having tested positive in India for Coronavirus, top health officials on Friday emphasised that the present weather in Delhi and NCR is conducive for the spread of the deadly virus. This statement comes after a few doctors claimed that weather has no or little role to play in the new coronavirus (COVID-19) spread in India especially in the northern parts of the country.
Dr. Rajesh Chawla, Senior Consultant, Respiratory and Critical Care, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, while speaking to a news daily stated that the environment plays an important role in determining the survivability and spreadability of the virus and coronavirus tends to grow more in low temperature and humidity. He added that two things that are not favorable for this virus are sunlight and temperature above 26-27 degree Celsius. Thus, the threat in southern India is lesser than north India or northeastern parts of the country, he stressed.
The Health Ministry has also advised the citizens from across the country to avoid mass gatherings. In a notification issued on Friday morning, the Ministry stated that all mass gatherings may be "avoided or postponed till the disease spread is contained." The notification further stated that if mass gatherings are organized, states will have to take "necessary action to guide the organizers on precautions to be taken as per the risk communication material already sent so as to avoid any Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases and Influenza-Like Illness (ILIs) including Covid-19.