Coronavirus cases rise again in China

A couple wearing masks hug at a main shopping area, in downtown Shanghai, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, February 16, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The number of reported new cases of coronavirus in China’s Hubei province rose on Monday after two days of falls, as authorities imposed tough new restrictions on movement to prevent the spread of the disease which has now killed more than 1,700 people.

With no end in sight for the outbreak, Japan and Singapore appeared to be on the brink of recession with data on Monday pointing to possible contractions in the current quarter. 

In Cambodia, hundreds of people who had disembarked from a cruise ship that docked there last week were anxiously awaiting information on when they could return home, after a former passenger tested positive for the virus in Malaysia.

In Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak, health officials reported 1,933 new cases and 100 new deaths on Feb. 16, the lowest daily death count since Feb. 11. The number of new cases rose nearly 5% from the previous day, but the number of deaths fell from 139. 

Nearly 90% of the new cases were in the provincial capital of Wuhan, a city of 11 million people where the virus is believed to have originated at a market illegally trading wildlife late last year. 

Across mainland China, officials said the total number of cases rose by 2,048 to 70,548, with 1,770 deaths.