In an article by CNBC, Chinese officials have confirmed death toll at 170. As of 6:50pm (Eastern time), there have been an additional 38 deaths and 1,737 new cases. This leads to a total of 170 deaths and 7,711 cases. Moreover, officials also revealed that 170 people have been cured and discharged. Get live updates here: Coronavirus live updates: outbreak is ‘grave concern’ as infections spread beyond China.
With the growing numbers, China has now exceeded SARS epidemic. There were 5,327 SARS cases in China and 8,000 across the world from November 2002 to July 2003, according to the World Health Organization.
Moreover, as of 11:27am (Eastern time) World Health Organization officials say coronavirus spread outside China is of ‘grave concern’. This prompted the WHO to reconvene an emergency meeting and to discuss matters regarding the outbreak.
As of date, several international brands have been shutting down operations in China. British Airways has canceled all flights to and fro mainland China. General Motors, otherwise known as GM, has already shut down its factories. Starbucks also closed more than half of its Chinese locations and ‘will not hesitate to close more’. Airline Delta also cuts weekly flights to China in half. Moreover, giant company Microsoft informs employees to work from home and even Google has temporarily closed offices in China.
Whilst most are speculating on the origins of the virus, a situation report published January 21 by the World Health Organization revealed that cases of pneumonia unknown etiology (unknown cause) were first detected in Wuhan City. According to an article by www.wired.co.uk , the virus appears to have originated from a Wuhan seafood market where wild animals are traded illegally.