Health authorities in China announced on Tuesday that coronavirus fatalities had risen to 425 nationwide and that total confirmed cases hit 20,438 as of Monday. The global death toll is now 427, with a fatality reported in Hong Kong on Tuesday morning . The updated numbers follow 64 new deaths attributable to the illness in the mainland and 3,235 confirmed cases, according to the country’s National Health Commission (NHC). Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, announced that coronavirus fatalities there had risen to 414 after 64 deaths – another daily record. As of midnight on Monday, the health commission of Hubei also reported 2,345 new cases of infection. Of those, 1,242 were reported in Wuhan, the province’s capital and where the contagion, also known as 2019-nCoV, was first reported. LATEST: Coronavirus death toll sets another daily record Mortality rate drop predicted The NHC said the national coronavirus mortality rate would drop further as more suitable treatments and medical resources were mobilised in Wuhan. Jiao Yahui, deputy director of the NHC’s Medical Administration Bureau, said that, as of Monday and based on confirmed cases nationwide, the national fatality rate was 2.1 per cent, with the vast majority of deaths in Hubei province. The central Chinese province has lost 414 people, or 97 per cent of the mainland death toll. According to Jiao, the mortality rate in the provincial capital Wuhan has reached 4.9 per cent, with 313 deaths so far. The mortality rate for Hubei is 3.1 per cent, the highest of any province in the country. Jiao said China had taken further measures to bring down the mortality rate in Hubei, especially Wuhan, with another 1,000 beds for critical cases concentrated in hospitals with ICU capabilities and medical teams with relevant experience in handling critical respiratory disease. “With all these measures, I think the mortality rate in Wuhan will fall further,” Jiao said. Jiao said that with the exception of Hubei, the average fatality rate was only of 0.16 per cent, with males accounting for two-thirds of the death toll. More than 80 per cent of those who died were over 60 years old, and over 75 per cent of them had more than one underlying health problem such as diabetes, she said. Also in Beijing, Li Xingwang, chief infectious diseases expert at Beijing Ditan Hospital, said the coronavirus patients' ages ranged from one-month to more than 90 years old. “The population is generally susceptible to this disease,” Li said. Stocks recover China’s financial markets closed up on Tuesday, recovering from losses on Monday, as market panic eased. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended the day 1.34 per cent higher after a fall of nearly 8 per cent on Monday. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index finished 1.21 per cent higher. The onshore rate of the yuan against the US dollar gained at 6.9900, firmer than Monday’s close of 7.0257. China’s central bank continued to pump money in the financial system on Tuesday to drive down money market rates and to restore investor confidence, injecting 50 billion yuan (US$7.13 billion) worth of funds, in addition to the massive 1.2 trillion yuan injection on Monday. Reuters reported that Chinese policymakers were readying measures to stabilise the economy, especially to support industries hit hard by the virus outbreak and vulnerable to job losses. It said the government was debating whether to lower economic growth targets, adding that the central bank was likely to lower key lending rates and cut the reserve requirement ratio for banks. More fiscal spending is also expected. Arthur Kroeber, founding partner and research head at Gavekal Dragonomics, said China’s economy was likely to suffer heavily in the first quarter before recovering in the rest of year. He warned that Beijing’s credibility as a trustworthy actor on the world stage would be severely damaged over the longer term. Foreigners with mainland travel history banned from Taiwan Taiwan will ban foreigners who have visited or have been living on the mainland over the past 14 days from entering the island, effective Friday due to health concerns amid the coronavirus outbreak, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday. The ban, however, would not apply to foreigners living in Hong Kong or Macau, the ministry said. Foreign nationals seeking to enter Taiwan for special reasons may apply for an entry visa as long as they has not visited or resided in mainland areas severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak, including Wubei, Guangdong and Zhejiang, the ministry said. They must also provide documents of their travel history in the past 14 days, certificate of a health check-up and relevant documents. Also on Tuesday, Taiwan’s coastguard stepped up patrols around the resort island of Penghu, to disperse mainland fishing boats intruding into the island's waters as the deadly coronavirus outbreak escalated. The action came as the island's foreign ministry condemned Beijing for blocking Taipei from joining the World Health Organisation's anti-epidemic network and obtaining first-hand information about the latest coronavirus control efforts. US says Beijing will let its experts into China to help combat coronavirus According to Taiwan’s Coastguard Administration, two patrol vessels and helicopters were dispatched to the south and north of Penghu Island, to prevent fishing from mainland boats within its waters. The coastguard also sent vessels to waters near northern, northwestern and central Taiwan, where mainland fishermen “often intruded for illegal fishing and trading with Taiwanese fishermen”, the administration said. The strengthened patrols were necessary, not only to thwart these activities but also to help prevent the potential spread of the virus from the mainland, it added. Taiwan’s foreign ministry hit out at Beijing’s actions in blocking the island from joining the WHO and its emergency coronavirus control conference in Geneva. The ministry said the safeguarding of the health of 23 million people in Taiwan was an important task of the government, but that Beijing’s actions not only threatened the health of Taiwanese people, but created a health loophole in the world. “The People's Republic of China has never in a day ruled Taiwan and Taiwan has never been a part of the PRC,” the ministry said, adding the WHO should not have bowed to Beijing by excluding Taipei from the global health body. Beijing has long considered Taiwan a wayward province that must return to the mainland's fold by force if necessary. It has pressured the WHO from admitting Taiwan under the “one-China” principle, a claim strongly rejected by Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen. Taiwan's health ministry on Tuesday also demanded the WHO amend the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus, from 13 to 10. The global health body has placed Taiwan under the China listing, with 13 instead of 10 confirmed cases. Severe penalties for spreading coronavirus, rumours Courts in different parts of mainland China have released regulations, or guidelines, on the use of laws to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Among them, Heilongjiang appears to be taking the toughest line. A notice by the northeastern province’s Higher People's Court said anyone who uses the outbreak to spread rumours for subversive activities may be liable to a maximum 15 years in jail for inciting to subvert of state power. Anyone found intentionally spreading the coronavirus to cause public harm could face a charge of endangering public security by dangerous means, which carries the death penalty, the notice said, without providing details on what constituted spreading the virus intentionally. Other offences that caused public harm – such as refusing to be quarantined – carried a maximum penalty of seven years in jail. Courts in other parts of the country also pledged to help contain the spread. The Higher People's Court in Beijing said it would support the crackdown against counterfeit drugs, spreading rumours and trading of wildlife animals facing extinction. US ‘should provide help as soon as possible’ With new infections reported, the spat between China and the US over the outbreak continues to intensify. The White House said China has agreed to allow American health experts into the country to help, but China just gave a very brief response. “China is aware that the US has said many times it is willing to offer assistance to China. We hope the assistance can be delivered as soon as possible,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement. Hong Kong confirms first novel coronavirus death, a 39-year-old man Hua said the US should assess the situation of the outbreak in a calm and objective manner. The US should respect and work with China to contain the outbreak, she said. On Monday, Hua made a toughly worded statement against the travel ban on Chinese travellers imposed by Washington, accusing the US of not helping China but of creating fear. Chinese airlines ordered not to suspend routes The Civil Aviation Administration of China ordered Chinese airlines not to suspend routes going to and from countries that had not imposed a travel ban on Chinese travellers. A notice from the administration said 46 foreign airlines had suspended flights to and from mainland China, with some countries also imposing a ban on Chinese travellers. “In order to meet the needs of passengers in and out of the country and international transportation of supplies during this special period, the administration requires domestic airlines – in addition to cutting down the number of flights because of market demand – to ensure continued transportation to nations that have not imposed travel restrictions,” it said. Dozens of countries have restricted travel to China. Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and the US have all banned entry of non-citizens who have travelled to China within the past 14 days. ‘We’re like cash cows’: Chinese students angry after Australia travel ban First patients admitted to Wuhan military hospital Wuhan's first makeshift military hospital , built specifically to care for coronavirus patients, started taking in its first batch of 50 patients on Tuesday morning, in a first step to relieve the overburdened Wuhan hospitals. Constructed in eight days and formally handed over to military control on Sunday, the Huoshenshan hospital is being operated by a total of 1,400 army medical personnel. A second temporary hospital, Leishenshan, is also going up at top speed in the city and is expected to be operational on Wednesday. Youngest patient recorded The public health authority in southwest China’s Guizhou province reported on Monday that a one-month-old infant was infected by the novel coronavirus. She is the youngest known patient in the virus outbreak and is now in stable condition. No details were provided on how she was infected. There have been previous cases of infant infections reported nationwide, including from Beijing, Shanghai, and the provinces of Guangdong and Zhejiang. Most remain in a stable condition. Public health officers have warned that pregnant women and children are susceptible to the virus and need to intensify protection. Race for medical supplies continues A hospital in southwestern China's Yunnan province is looking for tailors to make protective suits in a last-ditch effort to support medical staff in the face of the spreading coronavirus. In a message widely circulated on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, the People’s Hospital in Chuxiong autonomous prefecture said the desperate decision was made after the hospital tried several supply channels without success. Production boost said easing shortage of medical supplies in hard-hit Hubei “To ensure normal operation of disease control and patient treatment, the hospital has decided to self-make protective clothing,” it said in the message. The hospital said zips, between 60 to 80 centimetres long, were also greatly needed. Chuxiong, in the central part of Yunnan province, has a population of nearly 2.8 million people, about 40 per cent of whom are ethnic minorities. On Sunday, a 42-year-old man travelling from Wuhan became the first confirmed coronavirus case in Chuxiong. China has continued to increase overseas purchases of medical protective gear and other equipment to battle the coronavirus. The customs agency said imports reached 810 million yuan (US$115 million) from January 24 to February 2, with protective gear accounting for 75 per cent. Quarantine for Taiwanese back home Taiwan has sent three of its 247 citizens to hospital overnight for isolated quarantine soon after they returned from coronavirus-struck Wuhan where they had been stranded due to the city lockdown. The 247 took a China Eastern Airlines' charter flight back to the island and arrived at Taoyuan International Airport at around 11.50pm Monday. Except for three passengers, the rest were sent to three quarantine centres – two in northern Taiwan and one in central Taiwan – after a series of quarantine and disinfection procedures which lasted till 3am on Tuesday, according to health minister Chen Shih-chung. “The three sent for isolated wards include one who has fever and two who have throat and respiratory problems,” Chen said, adding the military had sent its chemical troops to help in disinfecting the plane, baggage and 14 buses which took the evacuees to the three quarantine centres where they will be isolated for 14 days. Chen said all crew members of the chartered plane remained abroad and the plane returned to the mainland without passengers after the disinfection and fuel supply. Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Office said the island would continue to communicate with relevant authorities on the mainland for the evacuation of Taiwanese people stuck in Wuhan and other locked down cities. More than 250 people from Taiwan are still in Hubei province, according to a Taiwan business association based in Wuhan. Casualties and fear rise sharply The latest figures come as the number of daily casualties – and levels of global fear – rise sharply. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, America’s leading public health institute, on Monday defended what it called “aggressive actions” it is taking to control the US spread of the coronavirus. These include tough warnings against travelling to China and mandatory federal quarantines for those arriving from the Wuhan area where most of the cases come from. Beijing has criticised the US steps. Meanwhile, the economic fallout from the virus continued amid growing concern that global growth could suffer. CNBC reported Monday that Goldman Sachs was cancelling its annual partner meeting in New York this week over concern that Asia-based partners wouldn’t be able to travel. The US Department of Health and Human Services notified Congress that it may need to tap some US$136 million to combat the outbreak. On other economic fronts, oil fell to its lowest level in over a year during the US trading day Monday on declining Chinese demand. Japan quarantines cruise ship that called at Hong Kong The CDC has called the outbreak in China “explosive” and “unprecedented”. In response, Beijing has criticised Washington’s quarantine decision and its “unfriendly comments”. Also on Monday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organisation, warned that the world may be “dangerously” unprepared for the next pandemic. He urged the UN agency’s 196 member countries to “invest in preparedness” not “panic”, adding that funding for outbreak preparedness in surrounding countries “has remained grossly inadequate” in the past. No PLA takeover of Wuhan State-run Hubei Daily has dismissed as rumours claims circulating online that the military will take over Wuhan on February 10 if the coronavirus cannot be contained by then. It also dismissed speculation that the city’s supermarkets would be closed in three days, quoting Wuhan’s commerce bureau as saying it would be business as usual. On Monday, the People’s Liberation Army said it was taking control of delivery of supplies in Wuhan. Cambodian leader to visit Wuhan Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Tuesday that he would visit Cambodian students in Wuhan to give them moral support following criticism of his decision not to repatriate them. Hun Sen, a close ally of China, said he would fly there on Wednesday from South Korea, where he is attending a summit, and that he had informed Chinese authorities of his trip. He said in a post on his Facebook page he would visit the students to “to show them warmth and to make sure they are not scared of the new type of infectious coronavirus”. Cambodia, which has a large community of expatriate Chinese people, reported its single case of the virus last week, a Chinese man who came with his family from Wuhan to the coastal city of Sihanoukville last month. Last week, Hun Sen said the coronavirus was under control in Cambodia despite public fears. He also said Cambodia would allow flights from China and would not evacuate Cambodian students and diplomats, sparking public criticism that he was not doing enough to help them. 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