On Tuesday, February 18, mainland China reported 1,749 new cases of COVID-19 infection along with 136 fatalities. This has led to the total number of fatalities exceeding 2,000, with over 99.75 percent reported in the mainland itself.
COVID-19: latest cases and fatalities
1,749 cases along with 136 new deaths were reported in the Chinese mainland. This has brought the total number of infection cases to 74,185 along with 2,004 deaths, Global Times reported.
China's hard-hit Hubei province, that has served as the epicenter of the virus outbreak, reported 1,693 new cases and 132 fatalities. Thus, the numbers have reduced from the previous day, where Hubei reported 1,749 cases and 136 fatalities.
As of Tuesday, Hubei has reported a total of 61,682 infection cases and 1,921 fatalities. The number of cases outside Hubei has declined for the 15th consecutive day, with 56 cases reported on Tuesday.
Hubei's capital, Wuhan, where the disease is said to have originated from a local sea-food and wet market, reported 1,660 new cases along with 116 fatalities. Tuesday marked the first day where the number of recovered patients, 1,824, surpassed the number of newly confirmed cases, 1,749, Global Times reported.
Russia's travel restrictions on Chinese nationals
On Tuesday, Russia announced that it will impose a blanket ban on the entry of all Chinese nationals, from Thursday, February 20, onwards, South China Morning Post reported.
"From 00:00 local time on February 20, 2020, the passage of citizens from the People's Republic of China across the state border of the Russian Federation is temporarily suspended," the statement by the office of Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Tatyana Golikova said. Till now, Russia has reported two coronavirus cases, both of whom are Chinese citizens who have been quarantined in Siberia.
15 cases reported in a single day in South Korea
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, February 19, South Korea reported 15 new cases, bringing the total tally to 46, Reuters reported. Eleven of those cases were linked to a single patient, a 61-year-old woman. Ten of them attended the same church as the woman.
She developed a fever on February 10 but refused to be tested for the coronavirus on the grounds that she had not traveled abroad recently. On Tuesday, she became the 31st confirmed case in South Korea.