A hospital in China has on Friday announced that a Chinese doctor Li Wenliang who issued an early warning about the coronavirus outbreak before it was officially recognized has on Friday died of the virus.
News of Li Wenliang’s death has triggered a wave of public mourning and rare expressions of anger toward the government online.
The 34-year-old ophthalmologist contracted the virus which has now killed 636 persons while working at Wuhan Central Hospital.
Dr Li posted his story on Weibo from a hospital bed a month after sending out his initial warning to fellow doctors to wear protective clothing to avoid infection, he had noticed seven cases of a virus that he thought looked like Sars – the virus that led to a global epidemic in 2003.
The doctor was summoned four days later to the Public Security Bureau where he was told to sign a letter after he was accused of “making false comments” that had “severely disturbed the social order”. Local authorities later apologized to Dr Li.
Li was diagnosed with the coronavirus on 30 January, in his Weibo post he describes how on 10 January he started coughing, the next day he had a fever and two days later he was in hospital.
Also on Friday, Chinese president Xi Jinping assured his U.S. counterpart that China was doing all it could to contain the virus.
According to state television, Xi told President Donald Trump in a telephone call that China is gradually achieving results and was confident it could defeat the epidemic with no long-term economic consequences.
Economic analysts predict that coronavirus outbreak is expected to knock 2 percentage points, or more, off its first-quarter growth, from 6%, a prediction that has made the country’s central bank to vowed further support for the world’s second-biggest economy.
HRW Accuses Burundi Of Blocking Aid To Covid-19 Quarantine Sites
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Burundi authorities of blocking humanitarian aid to persons in covid-19 quarantine sites across the country.
HRW’s central Africa director, Lewis Mudge, warned against what he calls, the country’s usual denial and deflection approach to crisis management.
He said, the government needs to be transparent and work with international partners, to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and to give full access to humanitarian groups to help combat the pandemic.
HRW said, the government had only revealed one quarantine site to the world health organization, alleging that many others, with unsanitary conditions, were holding travelers who had recently arrived in the country.
Meanwhile, the united nations food agency has negotiated a humanitarian corridor to keep food aid flowing in southern Africa after many countries shut their borders to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
World Food Programme director for southern Africa Lola Castro, said South Africa had agreed to let vessels carrying food aid land on its shores and move it to countries like Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana and Namibia, which face food shortages.
Africa has registered at least sixty-seven hundred cases of coronavirus and more than two hundred forty deaths.
UN Warns Thousands Of DRC Children In Danger Of Dying From Epidemics
The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, says children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are susceptible to dying from epidemics other than coronavirus. The fund says the situation would likely worsen because of diversion of prevention resources to the fight against covid-19.
UNICEF says many preventable killer diseases have threatened DRC children. Nearly eighteen thousand children, younger than five, are reported to have died from the world’s worst measles outbreak and malaria. Thousands of children are also reported to have been sickened by cholera.
The report’s author, Simon Ingram, also says more than three million children in the D.R.C. are exposed to epidemics because they are not getting the health care they need. He also says nine million children in the country need humanitarian assistance.
The report calls on the government to allocate more funding for children’s health care services to benefit newborn and young children.
D.R. Congo has reported 98 coronavirus cases and eight deaths.
Global Coronavirus Cases Top One Million, Deaths Surpass 50,000
The number of coronavirus infections reached more than one million globally on Thursday as death toll topped 50,000 around the world.
As the pandemic spreads further in the United States and the death toll climbed in Spain and Italy, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University, nearly 53,000 persons have died and more than 210,000 have recovered worldwide.
The US reported the highest daily death toll of any country so far at nearly 1,200. It now has more than 6,000 fatalities while Spain reported a record one-day number of deaths, 950, bringing its overall toll to 10,003 from 9,053 as the number of infections rose to 110,238, up from 102,136 a day earlier.
Meanwhile, Italy on Thursday recorded 760 more deaths for a total of 13,900 fatalities as the contagion spreads.
Coronavirus was first recorded in China late last year, since then the pandemic has spread to many countries around the world, prompting governments to close businesses, ground airlines and order hundreds of millions of people to stay at home to try and combat the spread of the virus.
More than 1,013,000 persons have been diagnosed with COVID-19 globally with Spain the second-worst hit in terms fatalities.
Spain has lost nearly 900,000 jobs and the US is also feeling the economy impact as the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefit has surged to 6.65m in the week ending March 28, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics figure released on Thursday.
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