Coronavirus deaths exceed Sars fatalities in 2003

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The number of coronavirus deaths has overtaken that of the Sars epidemic in 2003.

In China’s Hubei province alone, the epicentre of the latest outbreak, the death toll now is put at 780 by regional health officials.

All but two of the overall total of 803 deaths have so far been in mainland China.

In 2003, 774 people were killed by Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in more than two dozen countries.

More than 34,800 people have been infected with the new coronavirus worldwide, the vast majority in China.

n its latest bulletin, health officials in Hubei reported 81 new fatalities on Saturday, bringing the death toll in the region to 780.

There now have been 801 deaths in China, with one each in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

The new virus, 2019-nCov, was first reported in Hubei’s capital of Wuhan, and the sprawling city has been in lockdown for weeks.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong has implemented a mandatory two-week quarantine period for anyone arriving from mainland China. Visitors are being told to isolate themselves in hotel rooms or government-run centres, while residents are required to stay in their homes.

Flouting the new rules will be punishable with a fine and a prison sentence. There have been 26 confirmed cases of the virus in Hong Kong.(BBC)