There were 89 new deaths in mainland China on Saturday caused by the coronavirus – another daily record, up from 86 fatalities on Friday – according to figures released early on Sunday by the country’s health authority.
The newly reported fatalities brought mainland China’s total death toll to 811, and the global figure to 813, matching the number attributed to the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) epidemic of 2002-03 by the World Health Organisation.
Newly confirmed coronavirus cases in the mainland rose by 2,656 on Saturday, down from 3,385 new cases on Friday, according to China’s National Health Commission (NHC). Accumulated cases in the mainland stood at 37,198.
Most of the deaths and newly confirmed cases were in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, which reported 81 new deaths from the disease and 2,147 newly confirmed cases in the previous 24 hours, according to the provincial health authority.
That took the province’s total fatalities from the outbreak to 780 and total cases to 27,100 as of Saturday.
Provincial party boss sets testing target
Hubei’s Communist Party chief Jiang Chaoliang has called on officials to complete the testing of all of Wuhan’s suspected cases “in two days”. state newspaper Hubei Daily reported on Sunday.
It quoted Jiang as saying on Saturday that finishing the testing of outstanding suspected cases in the provincial capital would allow medical personnel and resources to be redirected to treat patients with confirmed infections.
Among the confirmed new cases announced early on Sunday morning, 1,379 were in Wuhan, where the virus was first discovered at a seafood and meat market.
Hubei deputy governor Cao Guangjing said on Saturday night that, as of Friday, protection gear for medics in the province remained nearly 20 per cent short of what was needed.
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