China virus death toll rises to 169, more than 1,000 new cases
Workers in protective gear are seen on the apron near the first charter flight from the Chinese city of Wuhan, which was arranged by Japan's government to evacuate its citizens, after landing at Haneda airport in Tokyo on January 29, 2020. The first Japanese nationals evacuated from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of a deadly virus outbreak, arrived in Tokyo on January 29 aboard a charter plane.
AFP/Kazuhiro Nogi
China virus death toll rises to 169, more than 1,000 new cases
( - January 30, 2020 - 8:12am

WUHAN, China — The number of confirmed deaths from China's viral epidemic has risen to 169, the government said on Thursday, as hard-hit Hubei province reported 37 new fatalities.

Hubei, the epicenter of a contagion that is causing mounting global fear, also reported 1,032 new confirmed cases of infection.

The numbers are likely to rise further when nationwide figures are released later Thursday.

The World Health Organization on Wednesday warned all governments to "take action" over the deadly SARS-like virus spreading from China, as hundreds of foreigners were evacuated from the epicentre of the outbreak.

Besides the China toll, more than a dozen countries have reported the contagion, with new cases reported on Wednesday in Finland and the United Arab Emirates.

The WHO called an urgent meeting for Thursday over whether the viral epidemic should be declared a global health emergency — a designation that can lead to increased international coordination.

Airlines around the world are either suspending or paring back services in and out of China, following cases of human-to-human transmission outside the country.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter that the organization "deeply regrets" what he called a "human error" in WHO reports last week that referred to the global risk of the outbreak as "moderate" instead of "high".

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