As the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus continues to spark fears globally, a new fact has been pointed by several netizens including actor Jaaved Jaaferi that a character in a 2017 Asterix comic series was also called 'Coronavirus' and used to wear a mask. Asterix, the Gaul from the eponymous French comic faced coronavirus who was a masked Roman villain with a reputation of stopping at nothing in order to win.
Released in 2017, the 37th edition of the 'Asterix and the Chariot Race', the Asterix fights people across Italy in a chariot race against the Romans. The story was written by Thibaut Deleaz and the illustration from the edition was shared by Jaaferi on Twitter calling it 'too good to not share'' where the 'Masked Auriga, the Great coronavirus' is being introduced. The original book ''Asterix et la Transitalique'' in ancient Italy was released nearly two years ago before Chinese city of Wuhan reported its first case of the novel virus.
What was the name of the Roman charioteer in Asterix and the chariot race? Interestingly it was Coronavirus and he also wore a mask. I thought this was too good not to share #Asterix&Obelix #Goscinny&Uderzo #Genius pic.twitter.com/X0ulyPhKpc— Jaaved Jaaferi (@jaavedjaaferi) February 9, 2020
Amid the unprecedented outbreak of novel coronavirus, Lijian Zhao, Deputy Director-General, Information Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China said that there are 40,171 confirmed cases in China as of February 9. The death toll of the virus has spiked to 908 with 6484 severe cases. Zhao also said that 3281 individuals who were infected with coronavirus have been cured.
Furthermore, 399487 people have been traced and 187518 have also been taken under observation. Zhao has said that since February 1, the number of cured cases have surpassed the fatalities, and now it is 'thrice larger'.
Update: As of 9 Feb, 40171 confirmed cases (908 fatalities, 3281 cured, 6484 severe cases), 23589 suspected cases were reported by China. 399487 people are traced, 187518 are under observation. On 1 Feb, number of cured cases overtaken that of fatalities, now it's thrice larger.— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) February 10, 2020