CoViD-19: Hospital Director Dies; Fatality Data Released & more!

Source: China Daily, People's Daily, CGTN, SCMP, Global Times, Xinhua, iFeng, BBC, CNN, CBSNews, BusinessInsider,CNBC, JobTube, Majdi      

Largest-Ever Study Data Released

Men have a higher risk of death than women if they contract the new strain of coronavirus, Chinese researchers have concluded, in the largest study on the outbreak to date.

In research published Monday analysts studied 72,314 patient records from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC).

The records detailed 44,672 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, 16,186 suspected cases and 889 cases where the carrier of the coronavirus displayed no symptoms. 

The vast majority of confirmed cases were recorded in people between the ages of 30 and 69. 81% of the confirmed cases were classified as mild4.7% of the confirmed cases had reached critical status, meaning patients had exhibited symptoms like respiratory failure, septic shock and multiple organ dysfunction or failure. However, half of the cases categorized as critical had turned fatal.

The CCDC data also suggested that fatality rates were higher among men than women. Officials recorded a 2.8% fatality rate for male patients, whereas 1.7% of cases in women resulted in death.

The report by the CCDC shows the province's death rate is 2.9% compared with 0.4% in the rest of the country.

The findings put the overall death rate of the Covid-19 virus at 2.3%.

The study also identifies which existing illnesses put patients at risk. It puts cardiovascular disease at number one, followed by diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and hypertension.

Wuhan Hospital Head, Dies of CoronaVirus

China's central guiding team on coronavirus epidemic control mourned the loss of Liu Zhiming, a veteran doctor who succumbed to the novel coronavirus infection early on Tuesday.

Liu, head of Wuhan Wuchang Hospital, passed away at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday due to novel coronavirus pneumonia.

Hubei Companies Exempted from Pensions, till June

China will cut some pension contributions and insurance fees to help companies affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, according to the decision made at a State Council executive meeting on Tuesday.

Companies in Hubei Province will be exempted from paying pensions, jobless insurance and work injury insurance from February to June.

It has also stressed agriculture production and encouraged hog production to increase state reserves of frozen pork. 

Beijing Government Official, Infected

An official of Beijing's Xicheng District has contracted the COVID-19, the district government confirmed at a press conference on Tuesday.

But the government is still running as usual, Sun Shuo, head of the Xicheng District, told reporters, adding that the person had mild symptoms.

The official, whose identity has not  been revealed, went back to his hometown in north China's Hebei Province and returned to Beijing on January 30 before work the following day.

On February 11, he was informed by the Hebei health department that a family member had caught the virus.

Officials said the person went straight into home isolation and later went to the hospital for a check-up and relevant tests.

Plasma Therapy, Effective

The plasma therapy is a stable and safe method that has so far been found effective in treating the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) patients, especially for those in severe condition, said renowned Chinese respiratory scientist Zhong Nanshan at a press conference on Tuesday. 

Antibodies have been found in the plasma of some recovered COVID-19 patients, meaning they can fight the coronavirus in a better way. 

Plasma therapy was firstly used to treat H5N1 in 2005, and H1N1 in 2009, which showed positive results. Now 10 coronavirus patients in Wuhan have received the treatment and six of them showed symptoms eased. 

Guangdong Province is considering using the same treatment as wel. Guangdong now sees the second highest number of confirmed COVID-19 patients as of Tuesday, only next to Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak. 

"The advantage of the therapy is that it doesn't conflict with different blood types," Zhong said, expressing his optimism on the treatment. However, he stressed that it's particularly effective on severely ill patients, but not for critically ill patients.

Cruise Ship has 542 Infected Cases

An additional 88 people on the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, bringing the total of onboard infections to 542, according to NHK, Japan's public broadcaster, on Tuesday. 

A growing number of scientists say the ship served as an incubator for the new virus from China instead of a quarantine facility meant to prevent the worsening of the outbreak.  As of Tuesday, 542 cases of the virus have been identified among the 3,711 quarantined passengers and crew, making the ship the site of the most infections outside of China. 

Hunter said it could be down to compliance problems; "some passengers who think they're not going to let anyone tell them what they can and cannot do."

"We have to presume everyone leaving the ship is potentially infected, and therefore they have to go through another two-week quarantine period," he said. "Not to do so would be reckless."

Outside Hubai, Confirmed Cases Declining

Haagen-Dazs Closes About Half Stores

General Mills said nearly half of its Haagen-Dazs ice-cream shops in Greater China had been temporarily closed. The Greater China region accounts for about 4% of the companys net sales, with Haagen-Dazs shops and other foodservice outlets making up about 40% of that. 

Thieves Steal 6,000 Hygiene Masks in Japan

Thieves in Japan have made off with some 6,000 surgical masks from a hospital, with the country facing a mass shortage and a huge price hike online due to the coronavirus.

Four boxes containing the face masks disappeared from a locked storage facility at the Japanese Red Cross hospital in the western port city of Kobe, a hospital official said.

Shanghai Students Won't Return to School

The Shanghai government has said that students will not return to schools now and the semester will start via online learning amid China's coronavirus outbreak.

Online education for primary and secondary school students in Shanghai will begin on March 2, said Lu Jing, head of the Shanghai Education Committee, at a briefing. Shanghai had previously said schools would not reopen before the end of February.

Threat to Global Antibiotics Supply

The world could face a shortage of antibiotics if the pharmaceutical industry's supply problems posed by the coronavirus outbreak in China cannot soon be resolved, the head of a European business group in China warned.

EU Chamber of Commerce President Joerg Wuttke told a roundtable in Beijing the synchronisation of supplies in China was being hampered by the outbreak, also highlighting problems in the car industry, while inventories were surging.

He also noted companies were running out of packaging material and faced challenges with regulatory uncertainties.

Jaguar Land Rover Run Out of Parts for UK production in 2 weeks

Jaguar Land Rover has enough parts from China to maintain its UK production for the next two weeks but not beyond that at the moment, Chief Executive Ralf Speth said. 

The head of the UK's biggest carmaker also told reporters that sales were not currently happening in China.

Germany Sends 8.7 Tons of Medical Supplies


Germany is sending a second shipment of medical aid supplies to China to help the Asian giant fight the coronavirus epidemic that has infected over 73,000 people. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Tuesday the government is sending 8.7 tons of aid supplies worth $162,000, including protection gear and disinfectants.

"Germany stands firmly on the side of China in the battle against coronavirus and works closely and trustfully with the Chinese officials," Maas said. "We have the utmost respect for the efforts China has already undertaken." 

Ukraine Plans to Evacuate Citizens from China

Ukraine is preparing to send a plane to evacuate some 49 of its citizens as well as up to 25 foreign nationals from China, Health Minister Zoriana Skalteska said.

Any foreigners evacuated will be monitored in Ukraine, she said.

It is not clear when the plane will depart but Skalteska said it was "almost ready".

Russia to Suspend Entry for Chinese Citizens

Russia will suspend entry of Chinese citizens to its territory starting from Thursday, Russian authorities in charge of coronavirus prevention said in a statement.

The suspension will be for Chinese citizens entering Russia for employment, private, educational and tourist purposes. The new entry ban won't affect travelers who need to transfer flights at Russian airports, authorities said.

The suspension will be temporary, the statement said.

Ministry of Public Security Bans Violent Enforcement of Prevention Measures

Zhao Kezhi, Minister of Public Security on Tuesday stressed upholding national and social stability whilst battling against COVID-19; and banned over unduly and violent law enforcement during the process. 

Patrolling volunteers for epidemic control in a Hubei county are criticized for slapping a local resident and destroying their mahjong table after failing to persuade the family members to stop gathering. Local officials later visited the family twice for apology.

8 Seals To Resume Work, Criticized

An application paper to resume work by one enterprise in Luzhou, Sichuan province, went viral online. The document shows 8 various seals on it; showing the complexity for work resumption. The local government immediately responded by cancelling the procedure, and promising to improve the service for enterprises applying for work resumption. 

Drug Ready by Feb End

Production of favipiravir, first antiviral drug approved by Chinese authorities to treat Covid19, is well in progress. The drug is expected to hit the market later in February with the first batch estimated to reach 100,000 pills: reports.

10 Japanese Journalists Quarantined

10 Japanese journalists from Kyodo News, including one correspondent for the Prime Minister's Office, quarantined at home since Monday. The driver of the bus they rode on was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Sunday

GM, Fiat Chrysler and Toyota Resume Production 

General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Toyota Motor on Tuesday confirmed that theyve reopened their factories or are beginning to restart production in China following an extended holiday shutdowns due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Michael Palese, a spokesman for Fiat Chrysler, said the companys plant in Guangzhou, located hundreds of miles south of the coronavirus epicenter in Wuhan, has resumed production this week. The companys second assembly plant in China is expected to resume operations soon, he said in an email. 

WHO Reports 92 Cases of Human-to-Human Cases Outside China

World health officials have confirmed 92 cases of human-to-human transmission in 12 countries, director-general of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news briefing. Singapore At the moment, we dont have enough data on cases outside China to make a meaningful comparison on the severity of disease or the case fatality rate, he said. However, we have not yet seen sustained local transmission, except in specific circumstances like the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Feuer

Virus Real-Time Data, in English

Get live updates, with English interface, about CoViD-19 spread. The infection cases are shown in every province, city and town/village. Scan the below QR and share the below poster with your friends to spread the word.