Coronavirus death toll tops 1,000


Coronavirus death toll tops 1,000
Passengers wearing masks and covered with plastic bags walk outside the Shanghai railway station in Shanghai, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, February 9, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song - RC21XE9ZX702

The coronavirus death toll in China has hit an unhappy milestone, topping 1,000 after the center of the outbreak, Hubei province, reported another 103 deaths Monday.

Chinese officials say there are now nearly 43,000 confirmed cases across the country, and 1,016 deaths.

President Xi Jinping visited coronavirus patients at a Beijing hospital Monday and called for “more decisive measures” to contain the outbreak, Chinese state television reports.

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday the spread of coronavirus between people who had no history of travel to China could be “the spark that becomes a bigger fire.”

“In recent days, we have seen some concerning instances of onward transmission from people with no travel history to China,” he said, citing new cases in Britain and France.

Britain declared the virus a “serious and imminent threat” to public health after reporting four new cases Monday, bringing the number of confirmed British cases to eight.

Health Minister Matt Hancock’s declaration gives the government more power to isolate people to keep the virus from spreading.

The center of the outbreak is China’s Hubei province, where millions of people remain under lockdown and complaints of food shortages are rising.

China’s central bank is making $43 billion available to help businesses involved in fighting the epidemic.

The death toll from the coronavirus is higher than the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2002-03.

SARS is believed to have killed 774 people and sickened nearly 8,100 in China and Hong Kong.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he expects the coronavirus outbreak to disappear in April because of the warmer weather.

“The heat, generally speaking, kills this kind of virus,” he said.

Health experts say the spread may ease in warm weather when people get out of doors and are not in such close contact with each other.

But this is a new strain of coronavirus and some of the experts believe it is too soon to say if spring and summer will kill it off.

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