| Medical staff relocate a Covid-19 patient into a field hospital in Wuhan city, Hubei province, China, February 12, 2020 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
Thursday saw an additional 115 deaths from Covid-19, 5.6% more than the previous day, bringing the death toll to 2,144 in China’s Hubei province. The number of infections rose 411 to more than 62,000, ending 3 consecutive days of a downward trend. More than 76,000 people have been infected with Covid-19 around the world with more than 2,200 fatalities, mostly in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei and the epicenter of the outbreak.
Iran on Thursday confirmed 3 more infections following 2 deaths reported a day before. All patients are Iranians who have not traveled abroad recently, prompting questions about the way Covid-19 is spreading.
Taiwan authorities on Sunday reported Taiwan’s first death from Covid-19, a 60-year-old man who hasn’t been outside Taiwan recently.
South Korea’s Daegu city is the latest hotspot despite the government’s aggressive containment measures. South Korea has confirmed 104 cases, 73 of them reported on Wednesday and Thursday.
Patients in Hubei are reported to have an incubation period of 20 days. Many tested positive without any clinical symptoms.
World reacts with caution
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday that it’s too early to say whether the downtick in the number of new infections in China will continue. Zhong Nanshan, a respected Chinese expert, said on Monday that he is not sure whether Covid-19 has peaked or not.
Countries are intensifying their fight against the epidemic. Top leaders of Wuhan city and Hubei provinces have been replaced, and strict isolation and travel restrictions are in place throughout China.
Australia has extended a ban on people entering Australia from China until Saturday. The Malaysian government is considering a temporary ban on Chinese tourists. Late last month, Malaysia stopped issuing visas to Chinese travelers from Hubei.
The US Center for Disease Control on Thursday warned American citizens not to visit Japan or Hong Kong. 30 airlines have suspended flights to China.