Coronavirus updates: Wuhan hospital director dies as death toll nears 2,000

• 1,868 dead, 72,436 confirmed cases in mainland China

• Wuhan hospital director dies of coronavirus

• Quarantine on cruise ship in Japan could end as early as Wednesday

• Apple says coronavirus will hit revenue expectations

• Japan plans HIV drug trials for coronavirus

• 'Every scenario on the table' in virus outbreak: WHO

1,868 dead, 72,436 confirmed cases in mainland China

The total death toll from novel coronavirus outbreak in China has reached 1,868, officials at China’s National Health Commission said Tuesday.

There were 1,886 new confirmed infections as the total number of confirmed cases grew to 72,436.

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told reporters Tuesday the Chinese government and people have been making “all-out efforts” to counter the outbreak.

“The most stringent and thorough measures have been taken and relevant efforts are gradually showing their effects,” Geng said. “We have the confidence and capability to win this battle.” — Dawn Liu

Wuhan hospital director dies of coronavirus

The head of a leading hospital in the city of Wuhan, the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak, died of the virus Tuesday.

Wuhan Municipal Health Commission confirmed that Liu Zhiming, the director of Wuhan's Wuchang Hospital, died Tuesday at the age of 51.

“Since the outbreak, Comrade Liu Zhiming, regardless of his personal safety, led the medical staff of Wuchang Hospital to fight the epidemic, and made important contributions to the prevention and control of new-type coronavirus pneumonia in our city,” the commission said in a statement.

Thousands of medical workers from across the country have been sent to Wuhan, which has been bearing the brunt of the epidemic, in recent weeks to help the overwhelmed local health authorities.

The Chinese government has also constructed two hospitals in a matter of days in the city to expand the capacity to handle a growing number of coronavirus patients.

Liu is the ninth known fatality among medical personnel battling the epidemic in China.

Earlier this month, public outrage was stirred by the death from the virus of Wuhan doctor Li Wenliang, who had been threatened by police after warning others of an unusual respiratory illness in December before it had spread widely.

Meanwhile, doctors and medical professionals who die after contracting the virus through their work treating infected patients are to be granted a rare "martyr" status, China’s Central Military Commission announced Monday, implying “preferential treatment” for their families. — Leou Chen and Yuliya Talmazan

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China coronavirus outbreak spreads across regions
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China coronavirus outbreak spreads across regions
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping talks by video with patients and medical workers at the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. China's president visited the center of the global virus outbreak Tuesday as Italy began a sweeping nationwide travel ban and people worldwide braced for the possibility of recession. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (Xie Huanchi/Xinhua via AP)
A traveler wears a face mask as he sits in a waiting room at the Beijing West Railway Station in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. A fourth person has died in an outbreak of a new coronavirus in China, authorities said Tuesday, as more places stepped up medical screening of travelers from the country as it enters its busiest travel period. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
A girl wearing a face mask sits among suitcases at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Face masks sold out and temperature checks at airports and train stations became the new norm as China strove Tuesday to control the outbreak of a new coronavirus that has reached four other countries and territories and threatens to spread further during the Lunar New Year travel rush. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Travelers wearing face masks gather at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Face masks sold out and temperature checks at airports and train stations became the new norm as China strove Tuesday to control the outbreak of a new coronavirus that has reached four other countries and territories and threatens to spread further during the Lunar New Year travel rush. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Staff in biohazard suits hold a metal stretcher by the in-patient department of Wuhan Medical Treatment Center, where some infected with a novel coronavirus are being treated, in Wuhan, China, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Heightened precautions were being taken in China and elsewhere Tuesday as governments strove to control the outbreak of the coronavirus, which threatens to grow during the Lunar New Year travel rush. (AP Photo/Dake Kang)
Peatones con máscaras de protección en una zona comercial de Tokio, el jueves 16 de enero de 2020. (AP Foto/Eugene Hoshiko)
Health workers wear protective gear Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2003, in Ward E3 of the Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital in Hong Kong's New Territories, where 24 patients were quarantined after seven of its health workers developed flu-like symptoms, although none have tested positive for SARS. According to a hospital spokesperson five nurses and two health care assistants working in the hospital's Ward E3 developed symptoms such as coughs, sore throats and fevers on Friday. Hong Kong's health chief, Dr.Yeoh Eng-kiong, said that preliminary test results showed patients' samples did not contain coronavirus that causes SARS and researchers are trying to identify the cause of the illness. (AP Photo/Anat Givon)
WUHAN, CHINA - JANUARY 21 2020: Workers monitor screens for fever signs on passengers detected by infrared detectors at Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. A new type of coronavirus has infected hundreds of people in the city.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Feature China / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Feature China / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
WUHAN, CHINA - JANUARY 21 2020: Passengers wearing protective masks walk inside Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. A new type of coronavirus has infected hundreds of people in the city.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Feature China / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Feature China / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
WUHAN, CHINA - JANUARY 21 2020: Passengers wearing protective masks walk outside Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. A new type of coronavirus has infected hundreds of people in the city.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Feature China / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Feature China / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
WUHAN, CHINA - JANUARY 21 2020: Passengers wearing protective masks walk inside Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. A new type of coronavirus has infected hundreds of people in the city.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Feature China / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Feature China / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 21: Chinese travellers wear protective masks as they arrive to board trains at Beijing Railway station before the annual Spring Festival on January 21, 2020 in Beijing, China. The number of cases of a deadly new coronavirus rose to nearly 300 in mainland China Tuesday as health officials stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease which medicals experts confirmed can be passed from human to human. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to six on Tuesday and cases have been reported in other parts of Asia including in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
YICHANG, CHINA - JANUARY 21 2020: Travelers wearing protective masks walk outside a railway station in Yichang in central China's Hubei province Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. China has stepped up the measures to control the spread of the new coronavirus that has infected hundreds of people in China.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Feature China / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Feature China / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 21: A Chinese girl wears a protective mask as her mother pushes her on a suitcase to board a train at Beijing Railway station before the annual Spring Festival on January 21, 2020 in Beijing, China. The number of cases of a deadly new coronavirus rose to nearly 300 in mainland China Tuesday as health officials stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease which medicals experts confirmed can be passed from human to human. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to six on Tuesday and cases have been reported in other parts of Asia including in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
In this March 23, 2020 photo released by Xinhua News Agency, workers disinfect a subway train in preparation for the restoration of public transport in Wuhan, in central China's Hubei province. China's health ministry says Wuhan has now gone several consecutive days without a new infection, showing the effectiveness of draconian travel restrictions that are slowly being relaxed around the country. (Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua via AP)
In this March 18, 2020 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, people applaud as departing medical workers enter Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province. Last month, Wuhan was overwhelmed with thousands of new cases of coronavirus each day. But in a dramatic development that underscores just how much the outbreak has pivoted toward Europe and the United States, Chinese authorities said Thursday that the city and its surrounding province had no new cases to report. The virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, for most people, but severe illness is more likely in the elderly and people with existing health problems. (Ke Hao/Xinhua via AP)
En esta fotografía del domingo 8 de marzo de 2020, difundida por la Agencia de Noticias Xinhua, trabajadores con trajes protectores limpian un hospital que se improvisó en un escenario deportivo después de que fuera cerrado oficialmente en Wuhan, provincia de Hubei, en el centro de China. (Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua vía AP)
Office workers wearing mask against coronavirus move past lantern decorations in a mall and office building in Beijing on Thursday, March 19, 2020. China has only just begun loosening draconian travel restrictions within the country, but has stepped-up 14-day quarantine regulations on those arriving in Beijing, Shanghai and elsewhere from overseas, amid expectations of a new influx of students and others returning home. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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Cruise ship quarantine in Japan could end as early as Wednesday

Japan's health minister said Tuesday that plans to allow passengers to leave the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship were still being finalized, but said the operation could start as early as Wednesday.

But Katsunobu Kato told reporters in Tokyo, near where the ship is docked, that the start could be delayed by one or two days, due to the large number of passengers and crew involved.

"We still have to create a situation where they can return home smoothly", Kato explained.

The Japanese Health Ministry said Tuesday 2,404 people among the 3,700 initially on board have been tested so far, and 542 returned positive results. This represents the biggest number of cases outside China.

The U.S. evacuated more than 300 American passengers from the ship Sunday — 14 of them tested positive for the virus during the evacuation process. — Associated Press

Apple says coronavirus will hurt revenue expectations

Apple expects to fall short of previous quarterly revenue guidance because of problems in production and demand in China due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"Work is starting to resume around the country, but we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated," the company said Monday in an investor update.

It added that the worldwide iPhone supply will be temporarily constrained and that demand for its products in China has been affected, noting that all of its stores in China and many of its partner stores had been closed. — Phil Helsel

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U.S. citizens evacuated from the Diamond Princess
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U.S. citizens evacuated from the Diamond Princess
In this image from a video taken on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, Paul Molesky, right, and Cheryl Molesky, who evacuated off the quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess, film selfie video aboard a Kalitta Air plane bound for the U.S., at Haneda airport in Tokyo.(Cheryl and Paul Molesky via AP)
A group of ambulances from the Solano EMS Cooperative stage at the visitor center at Travis Air Force Base, adjacent to Fairfield, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. A group of Americans cut short a 14-day quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, to be whisked back to America. But they will have to spend another quarantine period at U.S. military facilities including Travis to make sure they don't have the new virus that's been sweeping across Asia. (AP Photo/Hector Amezcua)
A group of ambulances from the Solano EMS Cooperative stage at the visitor center at Travis Air Force Base, adjacent to Fairfield, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020. A group of Americans cut short a 14-day quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, to be whisked back to America. But they will have to spend another quarantine period at U.S. military facilities including Travis to make sure they don't have the new virus that's been sweeping across Asia. (AP Photo/Hector Amezcua)
The quarantined ship Diamond Princess is pictured through barbed wire at Yokohama port in Yokohama, near Tokyo Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. Japanese officials have confirmed 99 more people infected by the new virus aboard the ship, the Health Ministry said Monday. (Mayuko Isobe/Kyodo News via AP)
In this image from a video taken on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, U.S. passengers who evacuated off the quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess and officials wait for the takeoff of a Kalitta Air airplane bound for the U.S., at Haneda airport in Tokyo.(Cheryl and Paul Molesky via AP)
In this image from a video taken on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, U.S. passengers who evacuated off the quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess, wait for the takeoff of a Kalitta Air plane bound for the U.S., at Haneda airport in Tokyo.(Cheryl and Paul Molesky via AP)
In this image from a video taken on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, U.S. passengers who evacuated off the quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess, board a Kalitta Air plane bound for the U.S., at Haneda airport in Tokyo.(Cheryl and Paul Molesky via AP)
In this image from a video taken on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, U.S. passengers who evacuated off the quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess, board a Kalitta Air plane bound for the U.S., at Haneda airport in Tokyo.(Cheryl and Paul Molesky via AP)
A bus carrying U.S. passengers who were aboard the quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess arrives at Haneda airport in Tokyo, before the passengers board a Kalitta airplane chartered by the U.S. government Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. The cruise ship was carrying nearly 3,500 passengers and crew members under quarantine. (Sadayuki Goto/Kyodo News via AP)
In this image from a video taken on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, U.S. passengers who evacuated off the quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess, board a Kalitta Air plane bound for the U.S., at Haneda airport in Tokyo.(Cheryl and Paul Molesky via AP)
A bus carrying U.S. passengers who were aboard the quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess, background, leaves Yokohama port, near Tokyo, early Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. The cruise ship was carrying nearly 3,500 passengers and crew members under quarantine. (Jun Hirata/Kyodo News via AP)
Buses carrying passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship leave a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. A group of Americans are cutting short a 14-day quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, to be whisked back to America. But they will have to spend another quarantine period at a U.S. military facility to make sure they don't have the new virus that's been sweeping across Asia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Buses carrying American passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship leave a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. A group of Americans are cutting short a 14-day quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, to be whisked back to America. But they will have to spend another quarantine period at a U.S. military facility to make sure they don't have the new virus that's been sweeping across Asia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Buses carrying passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship leave a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. A group of Americans are cutting short a 14-day quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, to be whisked back to America. But they will have to spend another quarantine period at a U.S. military facility to make sure they don't have the new virus that's been sweeping across Asia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Buses carrying American passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship leave a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. A group of Americans are cutting short a 14-day quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, to be whisked back to America. But they will have to spend another quarantine period at a U.S. military facility to make sure they don't have the new virus that's been sweeping across Asia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Buses carrying American passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship leave a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. A group of Americans are cutting short a 14-day quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, to be whisked back to America. But they will have to spend another quarantine period at a U.S. military facility to make sure they don't have the new virus that's been sweeping across Asia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Buses carrying American passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship leave a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. A group of Americans are cutting short a 14-day quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, to be whisked back to America. But they will have to spend another quarantine period at a U.S. military facility to make sure they don't have the new virus that's been sweeping across Asia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Buses carrying American passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship leave a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. A group of Americans are cutting short a 14-day quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo, to be whisked back to America. But they will have to spend another quarantine period at a U.S. military facility to make sure they don't have the new virus that's been sweeping across Asia. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A bus leaves the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship at a port Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in Yokohama, near Tokyo. The U.S. says Americans aboard a quarantined ship will be flown back home on a chartered flight Sunday, but that they will face another two-week quarantine. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A bus leaves the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship at a port Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in Yokohama, near Tokyo. The U.S. says Americans aboard a quarantined ship will be flown back home on a chartered flight Sunday, but that they will face another two-week quarantine. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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Japan plans HIV drug trials for coronavirus

Japan plans to trial the use of HIV medications to treat patients infected with coronavirus as the growing number of cases poses an increasing threat to the country’s economy as well as public health.

Yoshihide Suga, the government’s top spokesman, said at a briefing on Tuesday that the government is “currently conducting preparations so that clinical trials using HIV medication on the novel coronavirus can start as soon as possible.”

Suga said he couldn’t comment on how long it would take for the new drug to be approved. — Reuters

COVID-19 not as deadly as other coronaviruses: WHO

The director-general of the World Health Organisation has said that new data suggests that COVID-19 is not as deadly as other coronaviruses, and that more than 80 per cent of patients develop only mild cases of the disease.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a media briefing in Geneva on Monday that China has published a paper with detailed data on more than 44,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, that gives doctors and researchers a better understanding of the age range of people affected, the severity of the disease and the mortality rate.

The virus causes severe disease In about 14 percent of cases, including pneumonia and shortness of breath, Tedross added. About five percent of patients have critical disease including respiratory failure, septic shock and multi-organ failure.

And the virus is fatal in two percent of reported cases, while the risk of death increases the older you are, he said. — Yuliya Talmazan

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