Coronavirus death toll rises to 170 in China, more than 1,700 new cases

The nationwide death toll from China’s viral epidemic has soared to 170, sources said on Thursday, with more than 1,700 new infections confirmed.

The coronavirus outbreak started in Wuhan, capital of China’s Hubei province, in December and has now spread across the globe.

The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday met Chinese President Xi Jinping. They shared the latest information on the novel coronavirus outbreak and reiterated their commitment to bring it under control, WHO said in a release.

The two sides agreed that WHO will send international experts to visit China as soon as possible to work with Chinese counterparts on increasing understanding of the outbreak to guide global response efforts, it said.

“Stopping the spread of this virus both in China and globally is WHO’s highest priority,” said Dr Tedros.

India has already issued travel advisories against travelling to China and is also making arrangements to airlift Indian nationals from central Hubei province and its capital city Wuhan.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar in a tweet said, “Chinese Government requested for permission to operate two flights to bring back our nationals from Hubei Province of China. @EOIBeijing in touch with Chinese authorities on the ground to work out necessary logistics. We will share regular updates.”