Coronavirus: China Admits “Shortcomings”, Death Toll Rises to 425

General News
Aerial photo taken on February 2, 2020 of the new hospital built in ten days in Wuhan. (© AFP / STR. Aerial photo taken on February 2, 2020 of the new hospital built in ten days in Wuhan)

The Chinese government has admitted “shortcomings” in its response to the health crisis, while more than 20,000 coronavirus infections have been reported in the country.

The toll of the coronavirus epidemic in China has risen to 425 dead after 64 new deaths announced Tuesday, February 3, 2020 by the government which admitted “shortcomings” in its response to the health crisis.

Chinese authorities have reported an urgent need for protective masks and medical equipment to deal with the epidemic, the death toll of which is now far beyond that of SARS, which killed 349 people in 2002-2003. .

The number of people infected has exceeded 20,400 in the country , after the appearance of 3,235 new confirmed cases , said Tuesday the National Health Commission.


For their part, the health ministers of the G7 countries agreed on Monday to coordinate “as much as possible in travel advice and preventive measures” against the coronavirus.

For its part, the World Bank on the same day called on all countries to “strengthen their health surveillance and the responses given” to the epidemic and said it was examining the financial and technical resources that could be mobilized quickly.

Ten days after the start of the crisis, marked by the confinement of the metropolis of Wuhan (centre) and its province, Hubei, the Chinese stock markets of Shanghai and Shenzhen plunged by around 8% after an interruption of ten quotation days. The biggest drop in Chinese indices since the stock market crash of 2015.

In the context of China’s paralysis by fear of the virus, Beijing on Monday recognized “shortcomings” in its reaction and also admitted to relying on the rest of the world to respond to the crisis.

The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party has asked for an improvement in the emergency response system following “shortcomings and difficulties which have appeared in the response to the epidemic,” the official agency said. new China press.

“Need masks, overalls, glasses”

“What China urgently needs are masks, overalls and goggles,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying previously.

She said several countries, including France, the United Kingdom, Japan and South Korea, had already sent medical supplies.

China is trying to import it from Europe, Japan and the United States, according to the Ministry of Industry.

In Geneva, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned against using poor quality masks, which can give “a false sense of protection”.


A woman with a face covered with a protective mask walks on a street in Beijing after a snowfall, on February 2, 2020.
A woman with a face covered with a protective mask walks on a street in Beijing after a snowfall, on February 2, 2020. (© AFP / NICOLAS ASFOURI)

The virus also killed for the first time outside China , a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan who died in the Philippines, WHO announced on Sunday.

Most of the deaths and cases of contamination are to be deplored in Wuhan and its province where some 56 million inhabitants have been cut off from the world since January 23.

Faced with an overwhelmed hospital system, this metropolis welcomed the first patients on Monday in a new hospital built in ten days, said the People’s Daily.

Another even larger hospital (1600 beds) is under construction and should open in a few days.

Support for the economy

The government has granted three additional days of leave in hopes of delaying the return to the cities of the hundreds of millions of migrant workers who have returned to their provinces during the Lunar New Year.

People from Hubei are sometimes subjected to ostracism and suspicion.

The Chinese stock markets have been caught up in their reopening by the concern that has unscrewed the other world places for ten days.

Worried, many countries have stepped up protective measures. The United States, Australia, New Zealand, Iraq, Israel and the Philippines, in particular, have prohibited foreigners who have recently visited China from entering their territory.

Exclusion measures

Russia announced Monday that it could deport foreigners carrying the virus after last week’s decision to close its more than 4,000 km border with China and cut ties to the country.

But it was in the United States that the spokesperson for Chinese diplomacy was attacked, accusing them of “sowing panic” with their restrictive measures and of giving “a very bad example”.

The cruise lines have nevertheless decided to ban the presence on board of passengers or crew members who have travelled to China in the past 14 days, their international federation announced on Monday.

The World Health Organization (WHO), which last week declared an international emergency, said the same day that it was working with internet giants to fight online disinformation about the virus.

Finally, six months before the Tokyo Olympics, the Chinese anti-doping agency Chinada has decided to “temporarily” suspend its control activities “for the sake of health protection” due to the epidemic.

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