The risk of large-scale virus outbreaks is high due to the end of the Lunar Year holiday in China, with the population returning to work.
Rabat – The death toll from the novel Coronavirus has reached 908, up from 722 on Saturday, said China’s National Health Commission on Monday.
The epidemic continues to infect more people in the Hubei Province, (the epicenter of the virus) driving up the number to 40,171.
The number of fatalities outside China remained unchanged, with one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines, while diagnosed infections outside have reached 350.
Meanwhile, the largest number of infection cases are on a cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan. About 3,700 people, including 2,600 passengers and more than 1,000 crew members, are quarantined on the ship. The number of patients diagnosed with the virus is now at 130.
Japanese officials said that they do not have the capacity to test everyone on board.
With factories and businesses resuming work on Monday, after an extended Lunar Year holiday, fears grow of a large-scale spread of the virus.
Chinese authorities extended the Lunar Year holiday as a measure to limit the spread of the 2019-nCoV. The holiday was actually only a week-long, from January 24 to January 30.
Chinese companies are expected to question employees about their movements over the holidays.
Employees who have visited areas with large virus outbreaks will not be permitted to return to work. A caution protocol has also been set up across Chinese workplaces, with frequent monitoring of employees’ temperatures.
Volkswagen has reopened some of its factories on Monday, while others will remain closed for another week. Toyota extended the closure of its Chinese plants to February 16.
In many large cities, schools and non-essential factories will remain closed for the month of February.
A team of advanced experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) is set to arrive in China on Monday morning.
The experts are led by Bruce Aylward, a Canadian physician and epidemiologist who led the international campaign to fight against Ebola and polio.
The team will “work with their Chinese counterparts to increase understanding of the epidemic and guide the work of global responses.”