China praises Pakistan for not evacuating its nationals

Lauding ‘iron ally’ Pakistan’s decision to not evacuate its nationals from the coronavirus-epicentre Hubei, China said it showed Islamabad’s confidence in Beijing to control the virus outbreak that has claimed 425 lives so far.

At least 64 deaths were reported on Monday alone while 3,235 new confirmed cases were confirmed, taking the number of those infected with the deadly disease to 20,438, Chinese health authorities said on Tuesday.

Earlier, Pakistani students were seen appealing for help and crying to be evacuated after its authorities refused to so.

The Pakistani government’s stand not to evacuate its citizens from coronavirus hit Wuhan city is an act of “solidarity” with its ally China. However, it brewed resentment among those stuck there.

The 64 people who died on Monday were all from the Hubei province, the epicentre of the virus, China’s National Health Commission said.

Also, 3,235 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection were reported, a big increase in a day.

Another 5,072 new suspected cases were reported on Monday, said the commission, adding that 492 patients became seriously ill.

The commission said that 2,788 patients remained in severe condition and 23,214 people were suspected of being infected with the virus, a pointer that it is increasingly turning virulent.

The overall confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland had reached 20,438 by the end of Monday, the commission said, noting that a total of 425 people had died of the disease.

A total of 632 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery, state-run Xinhua news agency reported

As the virus spreads from human to human, 221,015 close contacts had been traced, with 171,329 others still under medical observation.

As the virus continued to spread at an alarming rate, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday warned officials of punishment if they shirked responsibility in tackling the virus outbreak.

On Monday, China has opened a 1,000-bed hospital built in record nine days in Wuhan city and started trials for new drug to contain the virus and is set to open another 1,300 bed hospital next to it on Wednesday.

The ruling Communist Party of China on Monday held its political bureau meeting presided by President Xi to review the steps being taken on various fronts to halt the spread of the deadly virus.

The outcome of the epidemic prevention and control directly affects people’s lives and health, the overall economic and social stability and the country’s opening-up, Xi said.

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