Beijing – A third person was confirmed dead Monday in China following new viral pneumonia similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which over the weekend saw 136 new cases, including two in Beijing and one in Shenzhen, authorities said.
Health authorities in Hubei province’s capital Wuhan – with a population of 11 million and where the outbreak is thought to have originated – said the third death occurred Saturday.
The source also said 36 of the 136 new coronavirus victims are in a serious or critical situation.
Among the newly infected, 70 are women and 66 are men, aged between 25 and 89, and all of them showed symptoms the same symptoms: fever and fatigue, dry cough and – in many cases – dyspnea (difficulty breathing).
According to Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post, 198 people have been diagnosed so far, including the three dead.
Of the cases detected outside Wuhan – the first time that China has confirmed cases outside the city – both the Shenzhen patient and the two from Beijing said they had traveled to Wuhan recently.
So far, two cases have also been confirmed in Thailand and one in Japan. There was a further scare in South Korea, but no cases were confirmed in the country.
On the 14th, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that prevention measures had been implemented in hospitals worldwide following this new outbreak.
In addition, United States health authorities began Friday to impose controls on passengers arriving or connecting through Wuhan in airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.
According to the WHO, Chinese laboratories have already sequenced the coronavirus genome and provided that data to the global health community to help diagnose possible cases outside their country.
The outbreak has caused panic in China as the situation is reminiscent of 2003, when severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) spread across the country and caused a total of 646 deaths (813 worldwide), according to WHO figures.
According to the United Nations health agency, between 14 and 15 percent of SARS cases end in death, while in the case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a related disease also caused by a coronavirus, the mortality rate rises to 35 percent.
So far, there are only six types of this family of viruses known: four of them causing mild respiratory conditions similar to a cold, and the other two responsible for SARS and MERS. EFE-EPA
China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday (July 2) that Britain would bear all consequences for any move it took to offer Hong Kong citizens a path to settlement in the UK.
China reserved the right to act against Britain over the issue, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily briefing, without specifying what countermeasures Beijing might take.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday (July 1) that China’s imposition of a security law on Hong Kong was a “clear and serious” violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration and that Britain would offer around 3 million residents of the former colony a path to British citizenship. (Reuters)
The United Kingdom said on Wednesday (July 1) that China’s imposition of a security law on Hong Kong was a “clear and serious” violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration and called on the People’s Republic to honor its international obligations.
“We have very carefully now assessed the contents of this national security legislation since it was published last night,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Reuters and the BBC.
“It constitutes a clear violation of the autonomy of Hong Kong, and a direct threat to the freedoms of its people, and therefore I’m afraid to say it is a clear and serious violation of the Joint Declaration treaty between the United Kingdom and China.”
Raab said he would set out shortly the action Britain would take with its international partners.
Hong Kong’s autonomy was guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” agreement enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed by then Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 after more than 150 years of British rule – imposed after Britain defeated China in the First Opium War. (Reuters)
(Production: Will Russell, Hanna Rantala, Polly Rider)
Hong Kong on Wednesday (July 1) held a flag-raising ceremony followed by a speech by Chief Executive Carrie Lam to mark the 23rd anniversary of the former British colony’s handover to Chinese rule, hours after new national security legislation took effect in the financial hub.
“The enactment of the national law is regarded as the most significant development in the relationship between the Central Authorities and the HKSAR since Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland”, the city’s embattled leader said the law was the most important development since the city’s return to Beijing in 1997.
Flanked by current and previous government officials, Lam also said the new law would only affect a small group of people in the Asian financial capital.
There was a heavy presence of law enforcement across the city as the ceremony was underway.
The contentious law will punish crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison, heralding a more authoritarian era for China’s freest city.
Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly said the legislation is aimed at a few “troublemakers” and will not affect rights and freedoms, nor investor interests. (Reuters)
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