The novel coronavirus has spread to nearly 30 countries and has infected 43,129 people so far. While the focus on the death toll, which has crossed 1,000 by the end of Monday is making it to headlines, another relevant figure that is not making it media is the number of recoveries, which is quite encouraging.
According to the latest updates by GISAID, the total number of recoveries stands at 4,228. This means that the recovery rate from the disease continues to be higher than the mortality rate of the disease, which is roughly 2.4 percent. Despite, being significantly lower than the rate of infection, the growing number of recoveries is a positive sign.
Addressing a press conference recently, Wang Guoqiang, an infectious disease expert at Peking University No 1 Hospital, said, "This shows that cases in serious and critical conditions can be treated and discharged from hospital after receiving proactive treatment, and that has given us great confidence," reported South China Morning Post.
Concentrated around Hubei
The Hubei province in mainland China—the epicenter of the outbreak—has reported 2,258 recoveries. It is followed by the provinces of Zhejiang, Hunan, and Henan who reported 263, 239 and 214 recoveries respectively.
According to Xinhua, 427 patients have been discharged from Hubei hospitals after recovery as on Monday. The local authorities said on Monday alone, 2,097 new confirmed cases and 103 new deaths were reported in Hubei province. This makes it the lowest number reported in the region in the past nine days.
Around the world
In terms of other countries, ten recoveries were reported in Thailand, while Japan and Singapore reported nine and seven respectively. However, the Philippines which reported one casualty so far said the companion to the diseased, a woman aged 38 years, has recovered and released. Her boyfriend from Wuhan, aged 44, succumbed to the virus on February 1.
The last test conducted on February 6 on her showed negative for the virus. "This shows the novel coronavirus is not uniformly fatal and that recovery is more likely than dying from the disease," said Dr Edsel Salvana, director of the University of the Philippines' Institute of Molecular Biology.
President Xi's visit to Wuhan
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited a frontline hospital in Wuhan on Tuesday sending out the message that the virus, though "still very grave" requires "more decisive measures" to contain the spread of the virus.
Xi put on a blue mask and white surgical gown before meeting doctors at Beijing Ditan hospital and spoke to doctors via video link. The video showed the president getting his temperature measured with an infrared thermometer. Later, he visited a residential community in central Beijing to "investigate and guide" efforts to contain the epidemic, said Chinese official CCTV.
Meanwhile, echoing similar positive sentiment, US President Donald Trump on Monday said, "The heat generally speaking kills this kind of virus." Speaking to governors at the White House Monday, Trump said China had given him the confidence that the outbreak would subside in Apri due to "the heat," without giving any scientific explanation.