The death toll from the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, surpassed 2,000 in mainland China, and the United Nations warned the virus outbreak is still “a very dangerous situation.”
China’s National Health Commission announced on Wednesday, Feb. 19, that it received 1,749 new cases of confirmed infections, 1,185 new cases of suspected infections, and 136 deaths on Tuesday.
The update figures raise the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China to 74,185 with 2,004 deaths as of Feb. 18.
Hubei Province, where the virus first appeared last year, reported 1,693 new cases of confirmed infections and 132 deaths on Tuesday, including 116 in provincial capital of Wuhan—the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
But the official death count maybe far different from the real situation. A recent viral video shows the dead put on doorsteps to be picked up in a street in China like the trash.
The dead put on doorsteps to be picked up like the trash…
I don’t believe for a second the official death count is 1,600
— Red Nation Rising (@RedNationRising) February 17, 2020
China authorities said 574,418 people have been identified as having had close contact with infected patients so far, and 135,881 are now under medical observation.
Although the official number of new cases in China fell two days in a row, the world leaders remain alert of how the epidemic will play out.
The U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the virus outbreak “is not out of control but it is a very dangerous situation.”
In an interview with The Associated Press released on Tuesday, Guterres said, “The risks are enormous and we need to be prepared worldwide for that.”
Chinese National People’s Congress said earlier this week that it may postpone the annual Congress, the country’s biggest political meeting of the year, due to start in March, to avoid having people travel to Beijing while the virus outbreak is still spreading.
In the United States, the State Department has confirmed 14 new cases of coronavirus after it repatriated more than 300 American citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise liner docked at Yokohama port in Japan, bringing the total number to 29 cases.