(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The death toll in China from the deadly coronavirus outbreak that originated in the central city of Wuhan, rose to at least 361 on Monday, as the Philippines became the first country outside China to confirm a death from the infection.
The National Health Commission said there were 57 new fatalities on Sunday, all but one of them in Hubei, which has been effectively sealed off from the rest of the country for more than a week.
The total deaths nationwide was at least 361, with 17,205 people across the country infected with the virus, after 2,829 new cases reported.
Other countries have rushed to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan and Hubei, while many have also imposed extraordinary travel restrictions on travellers to and from China. Wuhan is the capital of Hubei.
Many of those brought out of Wuhan have been put in quarantine for 14 days and monitored for any sign of the infection. About 150 cases have been reported in two dozen other countries.
Dr Ali Khan, the Dean at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, told Al Jazeera the outbreak was a significant test of the world’s public health systems.
“What we have available to us is good public health measures,” Dr Khan said. “That means identifying those that are sick, getting them into the correct hospitals and making sure we do good contact tracing. This new coronavirus is a stress test of emergency preparedness of public health capabilities in countries worldwide.”