Covid-19 Deaths Pass 2,000, But Fewer Getting Infected

The World Health Organization cautions that it is too early to tell if the gradual decline of new cases reported in China will continue.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 — The death toll from the novel coronavirus from China surpassed 2,000, but the number of new cases decreased for the second consecutive day.

AFP quoted China’s National health Commission as saying that 1,749 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in China, and 2,004 deaths so far.

As of today, the total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in mainland China is 74,185, which were mostly reported in central Hubei province, where the virus first emerged last December in capital city Wuhan.

Outside the epicentre, however, only 56 new cases were reported, falling for the 15th day in a row.

The World Health Organization (WHO) previously said the reported decline must be interpreted with caution, and that it is too early to say that it will continue.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also noted that it appears that Covid-19 is not as deadly as other related coronaviruses, including the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

“More than 80 per cent of patients have mild disease and will recover,” he said on Monday.

“In about 14 per cent of cases, the virus causes severe disease, including pneumonia and shortness of breath. And about 5 per cent of patients have critical disease including respiratory failure, septic shock and multi-organ failure.

“In 2 per cent of reported cases, the virus is fatal, and the risk of death increases the older you are,” he added.

“We see relatively few cases among children. More research is needed to understand why.”

Meanwhile, one Malaysian has tested positive for Covid-19 in Singapore, which has reported 81 cases so far, according to the island republic’s Ministry of Health.

The 35-year-old local is a Singapore work pass holder with no recent travel history to China, but is a family member of a previous confirmed case, who similarly had no travel history to China, Free Malaysia Today quoted the ministry.

In Malaysia, where 22 cases have been reported, the seventh and eighth positive cases have fully recovered and were discharged yesterday, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.

This means that all Covid-19 patients treated at Permai Hospital in Johor have fully recovered and were discharged from hospital, he said in a statement. Nationwide, 11 of the 22 cases have been discharged.

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