The death toll due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China rose to 425 today while the number of total confirmed infections also soared to 20,438.
The new figures were reported a day after China created a record of sorts by completing the construction of a 1000-bedded new hospital in less than 10 days on the outskirts of Wuhan city to treat people infected with virus.
It may be recalled, the World Health Organization had last week declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern but did not recommend for trade and travel restrictions.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who held a meeting with top officials for the second time after declaring National Emergency in the country, said, “We have launched a people’s war of prevention of the epidemic.” He said China must race against time to stop the spread of the virus.
According to People’s Daily of China, the country’s top leadership admitted during the Politburo Standing Committee meeting that there were “shortcomings and deficiencies” in the response to the outbreak and that the system had to improve. The outbreak was called a big test of Beijing’s governance.
“In response to the shortcomings and deficiencies that were exposed responding to this epidemic, we must improve our national emergency management system and improve our abilities in handling urgent and dangerous tasks,” the leaders are believed to have said, according to the BBC.
The Chinese media reports, the novel coronavirus said to have emerged late last year in a Wuhan seafood market in Hubei province that was illegally trading wildlife. It can cause pneumonia and spreads between people in droplets from coughs and sneezes. Studies suspect that bats and snakes are the origins of the disease. Hence, the demand for imposing a complete ban on the trading of illegal wildlife is on the rise in China.
Japan, USA, Australia, India, Singapore, Indonesia, and New Zealand are among 25 other countries who have imposed a ban on to and fro China. They all have called back their citizens home and were kept under medical scanners to detect the deadly virus.