Death toll climbs to 132, with 1,000 new cases daily but WHO lauds China's efforts

The world health body will send experts to China to study the virus outbreak, referred to as "devil" by the Chinese President

By Tuesday, Jan. 28, the death toll reached 132 people, all in mainland China, from the deadly outbreak of Coronavirus 2019-nCov. So far, 5,974 cases have been confirmed, since the infection was first reported in December.

Winding up his two-day visit to the Chinese capital, the World Health Organization's Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lauded China's commitment and transparency in dealing with the epidemic. After his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, he said the WHO will send international experts to China to study the virus.

Xi Jinping with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Twitter/Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

WHO holds meeting with top Chinese leadership

With global scare spreading over deadly coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed 132 lives till now, WHO's top officials rushed to the Chinese capital in order to better address the issue. On Tuesday, the WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus held a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Those present at the meeting included WHO Regional Director Dr Takeshi Kasai, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme Dr Mike Ryan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Health Minister Ma Xiaowei.

In the meeting, the world health body lauded "the seriousness with which China is taking this outbreak and the transparency authorities have demonstrated".

WHO chief

The Chinese President said China has full confidence and capability to win battle against pneumonia caused by novel Coronavirus.

People's Daily, China

In the meeting, China's National Health Commission presented the country's strong public health capacity and resources to respond and manage respiratory disease outbreaks. Both sides agreed that WHO will 'send international experts to visit China as soon as possible to work with Chinese counterparts to deal with the outbreak at the global level.

"Stopping the spread of this virus both in China and globally is WHO's highest priority," said Dr Tedros. Earlier on Tuesday, the Chinese President had described the virus as a "devil". ""The virus is a devil and we cannot let the devil hide", President Xi was quoted as saying.

The current outbreak is due to a little known strain of coronavirus. 'Much remains to be understood about 2019-nCoV', WHO said in its statement. 'The source of the outbreak and the extent to which it has spread in China are not yet known', the statement further added.

Death toll increases, more than 1,000 cases reported in a day

According to China's National Health Commission, total number of confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV has reached 5,974 while the death toll reached 132, as on Wednesday morning.

Global Times

Meanwhile, the first human-to-human transmission of the virus was confirmed outside China. A Vietnamese man acquired the virus from an infected family member.

A German man was infected with 2019-nCoV, by a colleague who is a Chinese woman, though she didn't have the virus symptoms. This case has led to anxiety about the ease with which the virus can spread internationally.

Related topics : Coronavirus