The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak is spreading at an alarming rate, with 46 deaths and 1,980 cases reported in China in a single day. The virus has spread to Eurasia and further in Europe, with Russia, the UK and Italy reporting the latest cases. Joining Japan, Germany and Vietnam, Thailand became the fourth country to report a case of human-to-human transmission. The situation has prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
With about 12,000 cases of coronavirus infection confirmed from around the world, the outbreak has long surpassed the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in 2002-03 which infected 8,000 people and took 800 lives in over 37 countries. China was the epicenter of SARS as well, caused by a different strain of coronavirus.
On Friday (Jan. 31), China recorded 46 deaths and 1,980 new cases - a record daily high.
Of the 46 fatalities reported, 45 took place in China's hard-hit Hubei province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus disease outbreak. Among the 45 fatalities, 33 were reported in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, where the first case was reported on Dec. 31.
Of the 1,980 new cases reported, 1,347, a record high, was reported in Hubei province, the South China Morning Post reported.
In order to assist the medical workers in Hubei, 7,000 medicos have been sent to the province to deal with the outbreak. Two new hospitals, Huoshenshan and Leishenshan, specifically for coronavirus patients, are under construction, with an ambitious target to build them in 10 days. The hospitals are expected to be constructed by Feb. 4 and will add 2,300 additional beds for treating coronavirus infected patients.
With Tibet reporting its first case on Thursday, the disease has spread across all of mainland China's 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.
The disease has spread to more than 20 countries, with Russia being the latest to report two cases of infection, both in Chinese nationals, who've been quarantined and are in a stable condition, The Moscow Times reported.