Coronavirus virus death toll rises to 56, total cases near 2,000

WION Web Team Wuhan Jan 26, 2020, 07.45 AM(IST)

Chinese policemen wear full protective clothing as they man a checkpoint in Wuhan. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Among the new deaths, 13 were in Hubei, the province at the heart of the outbreak, while Shanghai reported its first death.

Death toll from the deadly coronavirus outbreak has risen to 56 even as the total cases of infected nears 2,000. 

President Xi Jinping on Sautruday said that with the virus rapidly spreading, China was facing a 'grave situation'. Xi chaired a meeting with top officials of the ruling communist party on the prevention and control of the virus outbreak.

''Cina will win the battle against the virus,'' he said.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai government has reported the city's first death from the virus. 13 more fatalities and 323 new cases have been reported overnight.

A total of 24 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities across China have launched the highest-level responses to the outbreak tat includes Beijing, Shanghai and the central province of Hubei. 

Authorities in these regions are urging the 1.2 billion residents to stay at home to curb the spread.  

Tianjin -- a city of about 15 million--has now become the second major city to suspend long-distance buses. The announcement comes a day after Beijing announced a similar measure.

Meanwhile. Wuhan continues to be under complete lockdown.

Police have been stationed at the borders of Wuhan to block the roads preventing any sort of movement into the quarantined city. The city's pharmacies have been swamped by people wanting to stock up on medicines.

450 military medical staff arrived in Wuhan who have experience in handling such situations, having handled the SARS and Ebola epidemic. The medical staff were air-dropped into Wuhan and dispatched to multiple hospitals...

China's national health commission has formed six medical teams totalling 1,230 medical staff to help Wuhan. 

The epidemic has taken its toll on the country in other ways too. Many vendors expressed frustration over a dismal new year season as markets have been desolated on account of the outbreak.