The global death toll attributed to novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) epidemic rose to 724, as 34,872 cases have been reported from around the world, on Friday. More than 99 percent cases and fatalities have occurred in mainland China itself, where the disease originated.
Though the World Health Organization (WHO) and USA's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have made offers for assistance for over a month, no invitation has been sent by China, as yet.
Coronavirus: latest cases and death toll
On Friday, China reported 3,399 new cases of coronavirus infection, while 86 more people died of the disease. Among these, 2,841 new cases, 81 deaths were reported in China's hard-hit Hubei province, that has served as the epicentre of coronavirus epidemic.
Thus, till now, 34,546 cases and 722 deaths have been reported in mainland China. Of these, 24,953 confirmed cases and 699 deaths have occurred in Hubei province.
With 722 fatalities, coronavirus has long left behind the death toll during 2002-03 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic, in which 648 persons died in mainland China and Hong Kong. The global toll is climbing to the SARS toll in 2002-03, in which 774 fatalities were reported from around the world. SARS was caused by a different strain of coronavirus, during whose outbreak 8,096 cases and 774 deaths were reported from more than 25 countries.
China ignores WHO and CDC's offer for assistance
For over a month, USA's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has offered to send experts to observe the epidemic and provide assistance. CDC hasn't heard back from the China. A similar offer was given by WHO, during WHO's chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus' trip to Beijing, two weeks ago, but no progress has followed, though a spokeswoman said it is just "sorting out arrangements".
According to New York Times, this might be because the experts could dig up facts that could embarrass the Chinese government. Such as, the country hasn't yet disclosed the infection cases and fatalities among doctors and nurses, treating the coronavirus patients. Several videos have emerged online, which shows over-worked and overwhelmed doctors, who would do well with additional help.