Hubei officials hold press conference on coronavirus control

A medical worker in protective suit pushes a novel coronavirus patient in a wheelchair at a hospital in Wuhan Hubei province China on Feb 10 2020

Coronavirus-hit Hubei's new confirmed cases continue to drop

With elaborate hand movements and swinging steps, medical staff in full protective body suits, gloves and masks led coronavirus patients at a makeshift hospital in Wuhan in a dance earlier this week to entertain them and keep their spirits up.

Fears of a global pandemic arising from the untrammeled spread of the raging coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in China continue to rise with deaths in China surpassing the 1,000 mark on Tuesday and the largest single day death toll being recorded on Monday.

China has reported another drop in the number of new cases of a viral infection and 97 more deaths, pushing the total dead past 1,100 even as the country remains largely closed down to prevent the spread of the disease.

About 393 people in 24 countries around the globe have been infected with the virus since it was first reported back in December and 99 percent of cases still remain in China.

China yesterday reported its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in almost two weeks, lending weight to a forecast by its foremost medical adviser for the outbreak to end by April. The government's top medical adviser on the outbreak, Zhong Nanshan, held out hope that the epidemic may peak in February and then plateau before easing.

In Geneva, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced a new name for the disease caused by the virus - COVID-19 - saying officials wanted to avoid stigmatising any geographic location, group of people or animal that might be linked to the disease and to make it clear it was a new coronavirus discovered in 2019.

The number of cured patients had seen relatively rapid growth, Mi said at a Beijing press conference.

It warned the epidemic was a "big test of China's governance system and capabilities" and said some officials were still "dropping the ball" in places where it was most severe.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak an worldwide health emergency.

"It has spread to other places where it's the beginning of the outbreak", Dale Fisher, head of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network coordinated by the World Health Organization, said.

Singapore has 47 cases.

The total number of cases in mainland China reached 44,653 and the death toll hit 1,113. One third of Tianjin's 104 confirmed cases are in Baodi district, where the store is located, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

China sacks two Hubei officials Chinese authorities, meanwhile, dismissed two senior health officials from Hubei, the central province where some 56 million people, including in its capital Wuhan, have been under lockdown since late last month.

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