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China’s coronavirus death toll rises to 1,886; WHO warns against ‘blanket measures’

07:55 AM Feb 18, 2020 |

Beijing: The death toll from China's new coronavirus epidemic jumped past 1,800 on Tuesday after 93 more people died in Hubei province, the hard-hit epicentre of the outbreak.

In its daily update, the province's health commission also reported 1,886 new cases, a decline on the number of new cases reported on Monday. Among the deaths, 93 were in Hubei Province, three in Henan, and one in Hebei and Hunan respectively, according to the National Health Commission, the Xinhua news agency reported.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday warned against "blanket measures" over the novel coronavirus outbreak, pointing out the epidemic outside of China was only affecting a "tiny" proportion of the population.

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WHO also said that - with a mortality rate of around 2 percent -- COVID-19 was "less deadly" than other coronaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). WHO officials rejected the suggestion that all cruises should be halted to avoid risking a new nest of infection like the one on the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess off Japan.

"Measures should be taken proportional to the situation. Blanket measures may not help," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva. The outbreak, which has infected some 70,500 people in China and killed over 1,800, has battered manufacturing and tourism across the region and led to multiple travel restrictions including for flights and cruises.

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