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Coronavirus: Kerala government declares the epidemic a “state calamity”; Death toll in China rises to 425

On Monday, Kerala government announced the new coronavirus epidemic to be a “state calamity”. This declaration was made after three people were tested positive in the state.

Health Minister K. K. Shailja said that after two confirmed cases in the state, there is now the third one also.

Shailja said that in order to do everything they can to control the outbreak effectively, the government has declared the epidemic as a “state calamity”. They came to this decision at the apex committee of the State Disaster Management Authority headed by the Chief Secretary Tom Jose.

Shailja also stated that currently there 1,925 people who have been kept under observation and the other 25 are being monitored in isolation at different hospitals.

The minister said, “The challenge is to trace people who have come from China and we are doing that.”

Death Toll in China:

On Tuesday, China said that more than 20,000 people have been infected from the virus and medical workers and patients are arriving at a new hospital. President Xi Jinping said, “We have launched a people’s war of prevention of the epidemic.”

A special meeting of the top Communist Party body was held for the second time since the outbreak of Coronavirus. The meeting was headed by Xi. They told the Politburo standing committee on Monday that the country needs to race against time to control the spreading virus. The President also stated that those who neglect their duties will be punished.

The latest death toll has gone up to 425 from 361 and the number of confirmed infections has reached 20,438 from the earlier 17,205 cases. Outside China, there are at least 180 confirmed cases including one death in the Philippines.

Other nations are continuously evacuating people from China and also restricting Chinese people or those who have recently traveled there from entering their countries. A flight with Malaysians from Wuhan, the concentrated base of the virus, reached Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday morning. 133 people who were on board will be screened and quarantined for 14 days, which is the maximum incubation period for the virus.

The scientists of China have said that they have evidence to prove that the virus which was first detected in Wuhan, probably originated in bats. Shi Zhen-Li and his colleagues at the Wuhan Institute of Virology published a study in the journal Nature that reported that genome sequences from seven patients were 96% identical to a bat coronavirus.

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