Coronavirus death toll jumps to 722, surpasses toll from SARS outbreak

WION Web Team New Delhi Feb 08, 2020, 08.15 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Friday's death of a 34-year-old Wuhan doctor who was punished for raising the alarm about the virus in December sparked an outpouring of grief and anger over the government's handling of the crisis.

The number of deaths due to China's coronavirus epidemic jumped to 722, surpassing the toll from the SARS outbreak on the mainland and Hong Kong almost two decades ago.

More than 34,500 confirmed infections reported across the country.

84 new casualties were reported overnight.

China has struggled to contain the current virus despite having placed some 56 million people under effective lockdown in Hubei and its provincial capital, Wuhan, reported news agency AFP.

Other cities far from the epicentre have also taken measures to keep people indoors, limiting the number of individuals who can leave their home.

Friday's death of a 34-year-old Wuhan doctor who was punished for raising the alarm about the virus in December sparked an outpouring of grief and anger over the government's handling of the crisis.

The virus has spread to two dozen countries, prompting several governments to ban arrivals from China and urge their citizens to avoid travelling to the country. Some have recommended their citizens leave China.

Major airlines have suspended flights to and from China.

At least 61 people aboard a cruise ship off Japan have tested positive for the new coronavirus, with thousands of passengers and crew facing a two-week quarantine.

(With inputs from AFP)