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Coronavirus: China's death toll exceeds 900, surpasses total from SARS
Beijing, Feb 10: The death toll jumped to 900 in the country with the confirmed cases soaring to 40,171, health officials said on Monday, with the World Health Organization (WHO) deploying a team to the country to investigate the outbreak. At least 25 countries have confirmed cases and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei. Major airlines have suspended flights to and from China in an attempt to stop the spread.
The American citizen died in Wuhan, was the first confirmed foreign death from the outbreak. The New York Times reported that the person was a woman and had underlying health conditions, citing two people familiar with the matter.
Earlier reports said that five Pakistanis and two Australians contracted the virus. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conveyed to Chinese President Xi Jinping India's readiness to provide assistance to the country to deal with the situation. In a letter to Xi, Modi expressed solidarity with the president and people of China over the outbreak of the virus, official sources said.
Among the deaths, 81 are in Hubei province and its provincial capital Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, two in Heilongjiang, as well as one in Beijing, Henan and Gansu, the commission said. By the end of Friday, 26 confirmed cases, including one death, have been reported in Hong Kong. Macau reported 10 cases, while Taiwan reported 16 cases, it said.
Meanwhile, a central government inspection group has arrived in Wuhan to thoroughly investigate issues related to Dr Li Wenliang, the whistleblower who was admonished by police last month when he flagged the coronavirus in his special media. Li, 34, died on Thursday, plunging the whole of China into grief and anger over police highhandedness in stifling vital information which resulted in the coronavirus becoming a massive epidemic in China and the world. The inspection team would probe the issues related to Li, an ophthalmologist with the Central Hospital of Wuhan, who passed away early Friday after being infected with the novel coronavirus, official media reported.