Coronavirus death toll rises to 170, more than 1 700 new cases

accreditation

The nationwide death toll from China's viral epidemic has leapt to 170, the government said on Thursday, with more than 1 700 new infections confirmed.

Thirty-seven of the 38 new deaths came in hard-hit Hubei province, the epicentre of a contagion that is causing mounting global fear.

Another death occurred in southwestern Sichuan province, the National Health Commission reported.

Tibet also reported its first case, the commission said.

The 38 new deaths marked the biggest single-day jump yet and come as a massive containment effort is under way that has effectively locked down tens of millions of people in Hubei.

Most of the latest reported infections also occurred in Hubei, which tallied 1 032.

The World Health Organization on Wednesday warned all governments to "take action" over the deadly SARS-like virus.

Hundreds of foreigners were evacuated from the epicentre of the outbreak on Wednesday.

The contagion has spread to more than a dozen countries, with Finland and the United Arab Emirates becoming the latest to report their first cases.

The WHO has called an urgent meeting for Thursday over whether the viral epidemic should be declared a global health emergency - a designation that could lead to increased international coordination.

Airlines around the world are already either suspending or paring back services in and out of China, following cases of human-to-human transmission outside the country.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter that the organisation "deeply regrets" what he called a "human error" in WHO reports last week that referred to the global risk of the outbreak as "moderate" instead of "high".

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Matric results are out! Are you happy with your child's result?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No, the pandemic really messed up their ability to focus
32% - 240 votes
Yes, they did well given the circumstances
68% - 502 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.13
-0.1%
Rand - Pound
20.48
+0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.13
+0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.82
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.0%
Gold
1,837.61
+0.2%
Silver
24.11
-0.8%
Palladium
2,110.00
-0.1%
Platinum
1,034.00
0.0%
Brent Crude
87.89
-0.6%
Top 40
67,816
-0.5%
All Share
74,435
-0.5%
Resource 10
74,309
-0.8%
Industrial 25
93,584
-0.6%
Financial 15
15,106
+0.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE