The number of known
cases jumped by 1,737 to 7,771 in China on Thursday morning including the first confirmed case in Tibet, according to health authorities, raising the global total to almost 8,000 – and nearing the total infections worldwide in the Sars outbreak of 2002-03.
The epidemic’s death toll also continued to rise sharply, by 38 since Wednesday, taking the total to 170, all in China, as of Thursday morning. The coronavirus is believed to have originated last month in a market that sold
in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province, in central China.
The first suspected case in Tibet has been confirmed, meaning the virus has spread to all of mainland China’s 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. Of the 38 new deaths, 37 were in Hubei and one in Sichuan province in the southwest.
Russia closes border with China
Russia will close its border with China to prevent the spread of the outbreak, news channel RT reported on Thursday.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed an order for the border closure after President Vladimir Putin urged officials to stop the illness’s spread.
Pets at risk?
A Chinese expert has warned pet owners that the coronavirus can also be transmitted from mammal to mammal.
In an interview with CCTV on Wednesday night, Li Lanjuan, a member of the national expert group dealing with the outbreak, said: “If the [mammal] pets are exposed to the virus or have contact with patients, the owners will need to monitor their pets.
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“This virus can be transmitted from mammal to mammal, so we need to take precautions against [all] mammals.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had on Wednesday advised that there was no evidence that pets such as dogs and cats could be infected with the virus.