The number of fatalities from China’s new coronavirus epidemic jumped to 1,113 nationwide on Wednesday after another 97 deaths were reported by the national health commission, report agencies.
The figure is only the second time there has been a decline in the daily death toll and follows Tuesday’s data showing 108 new fatalities. More than 44,600 people have been confirmed as infected by the pathogen across China. Around 2,000 new cases were reported on Wednesday, with 1,638 in the hard-hit province of Hubei, where the outbreak emerged in December.
The new virus is believed to have emerged last year in a market that sells wild animals in Hubei’s capital Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak. The virus was officially named COVID-19 at a conference in Geneva held by the World Health Organisation, where the body’s chief said countries had a chance of stopping its global spread.
WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday that although 99 per cent of cases were in China, where it remained ‘very much an emergency,’ it also ‘holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world.’ He urged countries to share data in order to further research the disease.