New infections of novel coronavirus drop for 8th consecutive day outside Hubei

China's United Nations Ambassador Zhang Jun said his country has

WHO says outbreak could 'go in any direction' as new cases drop

China's Hubei province, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus, has reported a record 242 new fatalities and almost 15,000 fresh cases in a single day, local health officials announced on Thursday, the fastest rise in the daily count since the virus outbreak was first identified in December.

Several Communist Party officials, including the party secretary for the Hubei Health Commission and the head of the commission, lost their jobs in the government purge, accordin to the BBC.

(From left) World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme head Michael Ryan, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and WHO Chair of Emergency Committee on Ebola Robert Steffen attend a combined news conference following as two-day worldwide conference on COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine research and a meeting to decide whether Ebola in DR Congo still constitutes health emergency of global concern on January 12, 2020 in Geneva. That was the lowest daily rise in new cases since January 30.

World Health Organization has activated a UN Crisis Management Team on 11 Feb 2020, to be led by general, Dr Mike Ryan who will coordinate the whole UN response.

"In Singapore, we are at the beginning of the outbreak".

Another expert said that while the coronavirus may be peaking in China, this was not the case elsewhere.

Hundreds of infections have been reported in dozens of other countries and territories, but only two people have died outside mainland China: one in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines.

A cruise ship, with more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board, which was turned away by five countries on fears that someone aboard may be infected with coronavirus, was accepted by Cambodia. "Outbreaks can bring out the best and the worst in people".

The new diagnostic approach came on the same day that Hubei and its stricken capital, Wuhan, replaced their top officials in an apparent response to public criticism of local authorities' handling of the epidemic. The city of 11 million people remains under virtual lockdown, and other major Chinese cities are facing severe travel restrictions. There has been a wave of anti-Chinese sentiment, some of it in ugly social media posts. ANZ Bank said first-quarter growth may slow to between 3.2 percent and 4.0 percent, down from a projection of 5.0 percent.

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Coronavirus: China sacks Hubei party chief, Xinhua reports