National Post (National Edition) - - NEWS -

The lat­est de­vel­op­ments around the coro­n­avirus out­break:

❚ China’s death toll reached 1,367 as of the end of Wednesday, up 254 from the pre­vi­ous day, the coun­try’s Na­tional Health Com­mis­sion said on Thurs­day. Across main­land China, there were 15,152 new con­firmed in­fec­tions, bring­ing the to­tal num­ber to 59,805, it said.

❚ Cases are not ris­ing dra­mat­i­cally out­side China, apart from pas­sen­gers on a cruise liner now quar­an­tined off a Ja­panese port, a se­nior World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion of­fi­cial said.

❚ Hubei prov­ince, where the virus is be­lieved to have orig­i­nated, ac­counted for 242 of them and con­firmed 14,840 new cases, though it was am­pli­fied sig­nif­i­cantly by a switch to us­ing quicker com­put­er­ized to­mog­ra­phy (CT) scans — which re­veal lung in­fec­tions — to con­firm the virus.

❚ The surge on Wednesday came a day af­ter China re­ported its low­est num­ber of new cases in two weeks, bol­ster­ing a fore­cast by Bei­jing’s se­nior med­i­cal ad­viser that the epi­demic will end by April.

❚ One district in the city of Shiyan, Hubei, has taken the ex­treme de­ci­sion to im­pose wartime con­trol mea­sures for the next 14 days, in­clud­ing the full clo­sure of all build­ings. The move, the first of its kind since the out­break, sparked spec­u­la­tion that other ar­eas may follow suit. Only those in­volved in fight­ing the epi­demic were al­lowed to en­ter or leave their homes.

❚ Jiang Chao­liang, head of the lo­cal Com­mu­nist party, be­came the high­est-rank­ing of­fi­cial to be fired dur­ing the cri­sis. He was re­placed by Ying Yong, for­mer mayor of Shang­hai and a close ally of Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping.

❚ A woman has died from the coro­n­avirus in Ja­pan, the first such death in the coun­try, the health min­is­ter said on Thurs­day. The only two other known deaths from the virus out­side of main­land China were re­ported in Hong Kong and the Philip­pines.

❚ Forty-four cases have been de­tected on the Princess Di­a­mond cruise ship quar­an­tined off Ja­pan’s coast. The Ja­panese health min­is­ter said on Thurs­day the end of the quar­an­tine was tar­geted for Feb. 19, but el­derly pas­sen­gers with pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions or win­dow­less rooms would be al­lowed to leave ear­lier.

❚ U.S. of­fi­cials re­ported the 15th case of coro­n­avirus in the United States on Thurs­day, say­ing the pa­tient was among those who had been evac­u­ated from Wuhan, China, and placed un­der fed­eral quar­an­tine at Lack­land Air Force Base in San An­to­nio, Texas.

❚ Canada will aim $6.5 mil­lion at re­search on stop­ping the spread of the novel coro­n­avirus. Cana­dian In­sti­tutes of Health Re­search (CIHR) and sev­eral other Cana­dian re­search bod­ies will hand out the money as re­search grants for sci­ence on the out­break, and ex­pect more money to be forth­com­ing as they con­tinue ne­go­ti­a­tions with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

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