Factbox: Latest on coronavirus spreading in China and beyond

(Reuters) – Here are the latest developments around the coronavirus outbreak:

-China’s death toll reached 1,367 as of the end of Wednesday, up 254 from the previous day, the country’s National Health Commission said on Thursday. Across mainland China, there were 15,152 new confirmed infections on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 59,805, it said.

-Hubei reported a record rise in deaths and thousands more cases on Thursday under a new diagnostic method, which uses computerised tomography (CT) scans to look for infections. It had previously allowed infections to be confirmed only by RNA tests, which can take days to process and delay treatment.

-The surge on Wednesday came a day after China reported its lowest number of new cases in two weeks, bolstering a forecast by Beijing’s senior medical adviser that the epidemic will end by April.

-Asian stock markets wobbled, while safe-havens yen, gold and bonds rose after the virus toll update.

-Forty-four fresh cases have been detected on the Princes Diamond cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan.

-Cruise ship MS Westerdam docked in Cambodia after being denied docking rights in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Guam and the Philippines over fears one of its 1,455 passengers and 802 crew might have the virus, even though none had tested positive.

-Hong Kong extended the suspension of schools until at least March 16.

-Major shopping mall landlords in Hong Kong are offering cuts in February rent by as much as 60% to help tenants ride out the effects of the outbreak, which has emptied shopping centres and closed down tourist attractions.

-Australia will maintain its entry ban on foreign nationals from mainland China for another week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.

-The number of confirmed cases in Britain rose to nine. The latest patient had caught the virus in China.

-A second person evacuated from Wuhan to a U.S. Marine base near San Diego has been diagnosed with the virus, raising the tally of confirmed cases in the United States to 14.

-The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Wednesday that any apparent slowdown in the spread of the epidemic should be viewed with “extreme caution”. “This outbreak could still go in any direction,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

-The Red Cross called for an urgent exemption from sanctions on North Korea on Thursday to help prevent an outbreak.

FILE PHOTO: A delivery worker for Alibaba’s Hema Fresh supermarket chain rides an electric bike following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer

-North Korean media announced the quarantine period had been extended to 30 days, and that all government institutions as well as foreigners living in North Korea were expected to obey it “unconditionally”.

-Chinese scientists are testing two antiviral drugs and preliminary clinical trial results are weeks away.

-Hundreds of infections have been reported in more than two dozen other countries and territories, but only two people have died from the virus outside mainland China – one in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines.

Compiled by Uttaresh.V and Sarah Morland; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Tomasz Janowski

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