New cases plunge forthird day in Hubei

Top News | Charlotte Luo 17 Feb 2020

Hubei announced 1,843 new cases yesterday - marking a third consecutive day of declines - after they peaked at 14,840 on Wednesday as officials changed their diagnostic criteria.

Nationwide, there are more than 68,000 cases, with 2,009 new ones and 142 deaths, 139 in Hubei.

The National Health Commission has specificied rules for community control, including setting up temperature checkpoints and strict registration for entries, as well as managing estates differently based on whether they have confirmed cases.

The central bank has begun to disinfect used banknotes and store them for up for 14 days before they return to circulation.

Renowned scientist Duan Zhengcheng, 86, died of the illness Saturday in Wuhan.

Duan, a diabetic, caught the virus on January 29.

Hubei also stepped-up containment efforts with 15 new measures, including closing all non-essential public places and suspending mass gatherings.

Outlets such as supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open but must control the flow of people, perform temperatures checks on all shoppers and record the personal details of anyone who purchases fever or cough medicine.

The news came after Hubei communist party secretary Ying Yong inspected hospitals and neighborhoods in Wuhan, calling for stringent community control to be enforced.

Meanwhile, a Shenzhen company has paid for 500 rooms from five hotels to quarantine around 400 employees before they return to work.

Lai'erde Election Material saw another 415 employees return to the office, having never left the city during the Lunar New Year. The remaining 400 employees are to remain in quarantine for 14 days and undergo temperature checks three times a day.

In other news, Taiwan yesterday saw its first fatality following 20 confirmed cases.

The man, who had not traveled recently, suffered from diabetes and hepatitis B.

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