China says new coronavirus cases slow

February 17, 2020 09:01
A worker in protective suit drives a vehicle amid snow to transport novel coronavirus patients outside a hospital in Wuhan in China on Feb. 15. Photo: China Daily via Reuters

China said the rate of new coronavirus cases has slowed, calling that proof its steps to fight the outbreak are working, Reuters reports.

Within China, authorities reported 2,009 new cases on Sunday, down from more than 2,600 the previous day.

The fewer new cases suggest the efforts to halt the spread of the virus are bearing fruit, the National Health Commission said.

“The effect of the coronavirus controls is appearing,” Reuters cited Mi Feng, a spokesman for the commission, as telling reporters.

The new cases brought the total to 68,500 in mainland China, with 1,665 deaths, including 143 fatalities reported on Sunday.

Outside China, more than 500 cases have been confirmed, mostly of people who traveled from Chinese cities, with five deaths.

Mi said the proportion of confirmed patients who were critically ill had fallen to 21.6 percent on Saturday, from 32.4 percent on Jan. 27.

He said this showed the authorities were able to treat patients more quickly, preventing cases from becoming critical.

Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, reported 1,933 new cases and 100 new deaths on Sunday, the local health authority said on Monday.

The number of new cases rose nearly 5 percent from the previous day, but the number of deaths fell from 139 on Saturday.

Nearly 90 percent of the new cases were in the provincial capital of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated.

The Hubei health commission, meanwhile, said the total number of cases in the province had reached 58,182 by the end of Sunday, with 1,696 deaths.

Wuhan has accounted for 71 percent of the province’s total cases and 77 percent of deaths.

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