nearly 1,400 dead in China, 1st case in Africa

Beijing (hooly News) – The balance sheet of the epidemic of the new coronavirus approached the 1,400 deaths Friday in China, and the first case of contamination in Africa was noted in Egypt.

The Egyptian Ministry of Health announced Friday that it has registered the first case on the African continent. The carrier, who is not Egyptian, was hospitalized in quarantine.

Nearly 64,000 cases of contamination have now been recorded in China, including at least 1,716 among doctors and nurses working with patients, according to the National Health Commission, which acts as a ministry.

Authorities have revealed that six healthcare workers have died, highlighting the risks they face in overcrowded hospitals.

The vast majority (1.102) of these hospital infections took place in Wuhan (center), capital of Hubei province and the cradle of this epidemic of Covid-19 viral pneumonia.

The announcement came a week after the death of a doctor who had tried to alert the authorities, but had been reprimanded by the police, due to the virus. His death had provoked anger on social networks.

Due to an influx of patients in Hubei hospitals and a shortage of protective supplies (masks, full suits), some of the healthcare staff find themselves at the mercy of contamination.

The National Health Commission reported on Friday 121 new deaths in mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macao) in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,380 deaths.

– 'Grand test' –

China accounts for 99.9% of all coronavirus deaths worldwide. So far, only Japan and the Philippines have each reported a death on their territory.

The fight against the virus constitutes "a great test for the system and the capacities of governance of the country", recognized on Friday President Xi Jinping. The epidemic has revealed "gaps and shortcomings," he conceded, calling for improvements to the national health care system, comments made at a meeting of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

On the American side, after initially congratulating Beijing on its "very professional work", the White House distanced itself from Thursday. "We are a bit disappointed with the lack of transparency on the part of the Chinese," said Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser, to the press.

He notably regretted that Beijing had, according to him, declined American proposals to send experts to China.

In response, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang, said on Friday that Beijing has been "transparent" since the start of the epidemic.

– Radio –

"China has always viewed cooperation with the United States in a positive and open manner," he said.

WHO defended Beijing on Friday, saying the Chinese government "cooperates with us, invites international experts, has shared footage (of the virus), continues to work with the outside world."

Health authorities in Hubei announced on Thursday to everyone's surprise a broadening of their definition of people with viral pneumonia Covid-19.

Until now, a screening test was essential to declare a case "confirmed". From now on, patients "clinically diagnosed", in particular with a simple chest X-ray, will also be counted.

This new method has automatically inflated the number of dead and officially infected people, with the announcement Thursday of a surge of more than 15,000 new cases of contamination, and Friday of more than 5,000.

These figures depict a more serious situation than reported so far, but "does not represent (a) significant change in the trajectory of the epidemic," tempered the head of the department of health emergencies of the WHO, Michael Ryan .

– Cruise over –

The city of Wuhan, where the new coronavirus appeared in December, and the surrounding province of Hubei remained cut off from the world on Friday via a draconian sanitary cordon in force for more than three weeks.

The two CCP chiefs for Hubei and Wuhan, castigated by public opinion for their handling of the crisis, were dismissed on Thursday.

Elsewhere in the world, the Covid-19 epidemic is keeping authorities on alert, with several hundred confirmed cases of contamination in some twenty states.

People sick in the United States with flu symptoms but tested negative for flu will be tested for the new coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Friday

The main source of infection outside of China remains the cruise ship Diamond Princess, in quarantine in Japan near Yokohama (east): 218 cases of contamination have been confirmed there, including 44 new cases announced on Thursday.

Japanese authorities began Friday to evacuate some elderly and frail passengers from the boat, whose tests for the new coronavirus were negative.

Hundreds of passengers from an American cruise ship, the Westerdam, were able to land in Cambodia on Friday: the boat had wandered at sea for more than 10 days, five Asian ports preventing it from docking for fear of the coronavirus.

In France, 181 first returnees from Wuhan left Friday a holiday center near Marseille (south), where they had been confined for 14 days.

bur-jug-ewx-ehl / sg / avz / glr