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Although more than 500 Indian students are studying in colleges and universities in Wuhan, official sources said that most of them had left the city before the outbreak for the Chinese New Year holidays…writes Aarti Tikoo Singh

ZHENGZHOU, Jan. 26, 2020 (Xinhua) -- Members of a medical team prepare to board a train at Zhengzhou East railway station in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, on Jan. 26, 2020. A team comprised of 137 members from five medical institutions in Henan left Zhengzhou for Wuhan on Sunday to aid the coronavirus control efforts there. (Xinhua/Li Jianan/IANS) by .
Members of a medical team prepare to board a train at Zhengzhou East railway station in Zhengzhou, central China’s Henan Province, on Jan. 26. (Xinhua/Li Jianan/IANS)

India is finding it hard to assess the exact number of Indians stranded in central China’s Wuhan city which has been placed under a lockdown, following the outbreak of the contagious novel coronavirus.

The death toll in China due to the 2019-nCoV has increased to 80 and around 3,000 people have tested positive for the virus, and some 6,000 were suspected to be infected.

Although more than 500 Indian students are studying in colleges and universities in Wuhan, official sources said that most of them had left the city before the outbreak for the Chinese New Year holidays.

The sources said that the Embassy in Beijing has been in touch with 45 Indian students stuck in Wuhan, but wasn’t able to determine the overall figure of Indians living in the city.

BEIJING, Jan. 26, 2020 (Xinhua) -- Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), answers questions at a press conference on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus outbreak held by the State Council Information Office, in Beijing, capital of China, on Jan. 26, 2020. (Xinhua/Cai Yang/IANS) by .
Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), answers questions at a press conference on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus outbreak held by the State Council Information Office, in Beijing, capital of China, on Jan. 26, 2020. (Xinhua/Cai Yang/IANS)

“It is difficult to ascertain because usually not all Indians there would register with the Consulate. Nor would they keep the Consulate informed if they were moving out,” an official in the Ministry of External Affairs told IANS.

All transport services were suspended in Wuhan and its 11 million inhabitants have been prohibited from venturing out of their homes.

Chinese health authorities on Monday confirmed 2,744 cases, which included 461 in critical condition.

In the last 24 hours, 25 deaths in Hubei and around 800 new cases were confirmed, the National High Commission said.

Sunday saw 769 new confirmed cases, 3,806 new suspected cases and 24 deaths (all in Hubei province), the Commission revealed.

By the end of Sunday, 51 people had recovered and there were currently a total of 5,794 suspected cases.

WUHAN, Jan. 25, 2020 (Xinhua) -- A medical staff member from Guangdong Province speaks during a training in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 25, 2020. Medical staff members from Guangdong arrived in Wuhan, the center of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, to provide medical aid. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu/IANS) by .
A medical staff member from Guangdong Province speaks during a training in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province, Jan. 25, 2020. Medical staff members from Guangdong arrived in Wuhan, the center of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, to provide medical aid. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu/IANS)

At least 32,799 close contacts have been traced, the Commission said, adding that of them, 30,453 were under medical observation while 583 were discharged on Sunday.

The figures also showed that 17 confirmed cases had been reported in Hong Kong (eight), Macao (five) and Taiwan (four).

Outside of China, there are currently eight confirmed cases in Thailand (five of which have been discharged from hospital); five in the US; four each in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, France, South Korea and Japan (one cured); two in Vietnam; and one each in Nepal and Canada.

WHO chief to visit China

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has announced his plans to visit China to assess the situation over the novel coronavirus outbreak which has claimed 80 lives in the country so far.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Taking to Twitter on Sunday, Ghebreyesus said during his visit, he will meet government officials and health experts which will help his team understand the latest developments in an effort to provide further protection against the outbreak, media reports said.

The WHO chief added that his agency was working 24/7 to support the Chinese people during this difficult time and to remain in close contact with affected countries.

The WHO is also updating all countries on the situation and providing specific guidance on what how to respond, he added.

The global agency has already activated global networks of experts, quickly developed advice for countries everywhere, and is working with them to activate their response systems.

The WHO is yet to declare the outbreak as a global epidemic.

80 died, 2,744 infected in China

Chinese health authorities on Monday said that 80 people have died due to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in the country, with 2,744 confirmed cases.

BEIJING, Jan. 26, 2020 (Xinhua) -- Members of a medical team prepare to leave for Wuhan of Hubei Province at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, capital of China, on Jan. 26, 2020. A 121-member medical team, organized by the National Health Commission, left Beijing for Wuhan Sunday afternoon to aid the coronavirus control efforts there. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei/IANS) by .

The National Health Commission said that of the infected, 461 were in critical condition, media reports said.

Sunday saw 769 new confirmed cases, 3,806 new suspected cases and 24 deaths (all in Hubei province), the Commission revealed.

By the end of Sunday, 51 people had recovered and there were currently a total of 5,794 suspected cases.

Meanwhile, at least 32,799 close contacts have been traced, the Commission said, adding that among them, 583 were discharged from medical observation on Sunday, with 30,453 others still under medical observation.

The figures also showed that 17 confirmed cases had been reported in Hong Kong (eight), Macao (five) and Taiwan (four).

BEIJING, Jan. 26, 2020 (Xinhua) -- Ma Jun (L), a member of a medical team, says goodbye to her husband Chen Sen before leaving for Wuhan of Hubei Province at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, capital of China, on Jan. 26, 2020. A 121-member medical team, organized by the National Health Commission, left Beijing for Wuhan Sunday afternoon to aid the coronavirus control efforts there. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei/IANS) by .
Ma Jun (L), a member of a medical team, says goodbye to her husband Chen Sen before leaving for Wuhan of Hubei Province at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, capital of China, on Jan. 26, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei/IANS)

Outside of China, there are currently eight confirmed cases in Thailand (five of which have been discharged from hospital); five in the US; four each in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, France and Japan (one cured); three in South Korea; two in Vietnam; and one each in Nepal and Canada.

Pakistan has five suspected cases who are all under observation.

China has announced the extension of the Spring Festival holiday until February 2, amid its efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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