The new coronavirus responsible for fatal Covid-19 pneumonia continues to spread. China's National Health Commission said on Thursday that there were 5,090 new cases and 121 deaths in 24 hours. More than 10,000 suspected cases are currently under investigation. Among the victims are six health professionals, to whom Beijing paid tribute. The balance now stands at 64,544 cases (of which several thousand are cured) and 1,383 deaths.
The vast majority of the cases remain confined to China at the moment. The 56 million residents of Hubei province, the cradle of the epidemic, are about to enter their fourth week of quarantine. Beijing on Friday asked all those returning to the capital after a trip to quarantine for 14 days.
Abroad, 586 cases have been confirmed in some 20 states. Friday evening, the Egyptian Ministry of Health announced that it had detected the first case of new coronavirus on its territory, the first confirmed on the African continent. Vietnam has decided to quarantine for 20 days a community of 10,000 inhabitants where six cases have been detected. But the biggest source of infection outside of China remains the cruise ship Diamond princess (221 patients). So far, only Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines have reported one death each.
11 patients hospitalized in France
Friday, the 181 French maintained in quarantine since their return of Wuhan two weeks ago left the center which accommodated them. No case is to be deplored. In addition, 11 patients were hospitalized in France, of which at least three are cured. Among them, a 48-year-old Bordeaux native of Chinese origin who received a promising antiviral drug. "Given the severity of the Chinese epidemic (…), it is very likely that we will have new cases (in France), I cannot say that there will not be any", however said the Minister of Health, Agnès Buzyn, on France Inter Friday morning.
Many infected people show mild symptoms and fall through the cracks.
Many experts agree that the number of contaminations is very largely underestimated. Many infected people show mild symptoms and fall through the cracks. At the start of the week, the Chinese authorities therefore decided to widen the diagnostic criteria. As a result, the epidemic counter suddenly panicked with more than 15,000 cases registered on February 12.
On the research side, things are accelerating. The World Health Organization (WHO) is now centralizing on its website all the studies published on the coronavirus, which already number 800. One of them, carried out on 9 pregnant women, indicates that the virus does not could not be passed to the baby during pregnancy and it would not contaminate breast milk.
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