The death toll from a new coronavirus in mainland China jumped by 73 to 563 on Thursday, its third consecutive record daily rise, as experts intensified efforts to find a vaccine for a disease that has shut down Chinese cities and forced thousands more into quarantine around the world.
China as of Wednesday (Feb. 5) has placed a total of 34 cities on lockdown in an effort to contain infections.
Among the nine cities newly locked, Nanjing is an ancient capital dating back 2,500 years, with a population over 8 million; Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang, has a population of 12 million.
Face masks are mandatory in at least two provinces in China, including the city of Wuhan. In an effort to contain the coronavirus strain, the government is insisting that millions of residents wear protective face covering when they go out in public.
The shutdowns in several provinces have hit supply chains, with transport restrictions preventing much needed animal feed such as soybean meal from getting delivered to poultry farms, according to analysts and Chinese state media.
The outlook for China’s poultry might be further affected, considering that authorities reported on Saturday an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in Hunan, according to Reuters. Over 17,000 poultry had to be culled following the outbreak, the news service reported.
China’s Central Television says Xi Jinping is directing its Wuhan coronavirus response, but he’s nowhere to be seen.
New York Times reports that China is clamping down on negative news and government censorship is getting worse.
Bloomberg says China Sacrifices a Province to Save the World From Coronavirus.
Casinos in Macau were already down on their luck when city officials ordered them on Tuesday to close their doors at midnight for 15 days to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The virus has killed two people outside mainland China, one in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines. At least 25 countries have confirmed cases.
A ban on non-citizens travelling from or through China is leading to chaos in Australia’s university sector.
Ten more people on a cruise liner in the Japanese port of Yokohama, south of Tokyo, tested positive for the coronavirus, the Japanese health ministry said, bringing the total number of cases on board to 20.
About 3,700 people are facing at least two weeks quarantined on the ship after an 80-year-old Hong Kong man who traveled on it late last month tested positive, Reuters reported.
By Winnie Troppie