Coronavirus: Death Toll Approaches 500 with No Sign of Slowdown in China

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak continues to climb in China, rising to 492 after Hubei, the province where the virus is thought to have originated, reported 65 new fatalities from the pneumonia-like infection. 

The latest figures from China’s National Health Commission say the overall number of confirmed infections rose to 24,324, with a much smaller number of cases in other countries. There are 230 cases of identified coronavirus infection in 27 countries. 

Countries outside China continue to report cases, with Hong Kong and the Philippines reporting one death each.

Estimates by the University of Hong Kong suggest the total number of cases could in reality far exceed the official figures.

The outbreak of the flu-like coronavirus has prompted various countries to impose travel restrictions, suspending all flights to/from mainland China, increasingly isolating the country of more than 1.3 billion people.

About 80% of those who have died were over 60 years old, and 75% of them had pre-existing health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, says China's National Health Commission (NHC).

The coronavirus causes severe acute respiratory infection, and symptoms frequently start with a fever, followed by a dry cough. Most people infected are said to be likely to fully recover - just as they would from  flu.

05 February 2020 12:53