The novel coronavirus global death toll has risen to 813, according to CNN. This means the total number of deaths caused by nCoV have surpassed that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2003.
China’s National Health Commission announced the numbers last February 8, Saturday. Of the 813 individuals who have been killed by nCoV, 811 of them are from Mainland China with one death each recorded from Hong Kong and the Philippines. Along with the death toll was an update that the country’s total number of infections had risen to 37,198.
In comparison to the SARS epidemic, which also originated from China, a total of 774 individuals died from the disease with over 8,000 people infected.
While the SARS death rate at 9.6% still exceeds that of nCoV at 2.2% many health professionals are doubtful of the current figures for the coronavirus. According to the New York Times, “many doctors believe that deaths and infections from the current epidemic in China are undercounted because testing facilities at hospitals and laboratories are under severe strain.”
In congruence with this, the World Health Organization will be sending a team to China next week to investigate outbreak of the virus.
WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke of the dangers of misinformation concerning nCoV at a news conference, saying: “While the virus spreads, misinformation makes the job of our heroic health workers even harder. It is diverting the attention of decision makers. And it causes confusion and spreads fear to the general public.”
The Philippines’ Department of Health continues to remind and urge the public to practice proper hygiene, handwashing, and proper coughing etiquette.
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