World Newsletter

CHINA NEWS
25 January 2020

CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK: 444 NEW CASES ADDED ON FRIDAY

The Chinese mainland has confirmed 1, 287 cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia and 41 deaths, according to the National Health Commission.

It confirmed 444 new infections and 16 new fatalities in the Chinese mainland on Friday, as the contagious illness continues to spread across the country, so far affecting 30 provincial-level regions.

Thirty-eight infected patients have been cured of the illness and discharged from hospitals, and a total of 1,965 suspected cases have been reported.

Hong Kong has reported five cases, while Macao has reported two and Taiwan has reported three.

Overseas, Thailand has confirmed four cases, and Singapore has confirmed three. Japan, South Korea, the United States and Vietnam have each reported two, while Nepal has confirmed one, according to the commission. France has reported three. Australia reported its first confirmed case, according to Bloomberg.

Two infected patients in Thailand and one patient in Japan have been cured of the illness, it added.

In Central China's Hubei province, where the provincial capital, Wuhan, has been the epicenter of the outbreak, the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus has risen to 729 with 39 deaths as of Friday midnight, according to local health authority.

The Health Commission of Hubei Province confirmed 180 new infections and 15 new fatalities on Friday.

It has also traced 5,682 people who had close contact with the infected, and medical quarantine put on 971 of them has been discontinued.

After Wuhan was put under lockdown since 10 am on Wednesday, 13 other cities in Hubei have started placing restrictions on movement and shutting down public transportation.

Nationwide, local authorities also have implemented a number of measures and restrictions on public gatherings to curb the spread of the disease.

 

REINFORCEMENTS SENT TO VIRUS-HIT CITY ON HOLIDAY EVE

On Friday night, the eve of the traditional Chinese Lunar New Year that features family reunions, medical staff from three military medical universities and their affiliated hospitals of the People's Liberation Army were headed to Wuhan to fight the pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus there.

Of them, 135 came from the Army Medical University based in Chongqing, who have divided themselves into two groups specifically for critical conditions and normal conditions.

Another 150 came from the Second Military Medical University in Shanghai. A short video clip online shows how they rushed to the flight amid heavy rainfall at the airport, one after one, carrying luggage on their backs.

According to local media in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, where the Air Force Medical University is located, a total of 95 doctors and nurses were on their way. A photo widely spread online shows them sworn in by a flag with the words "critical condition treatment team".

Before them, echoing the call of the Central Military Commission, the PLA already had mobilized 40 doctors and nurses from their hospitals in Wuhan to help in the joint fight against the outbreak.

On Thursday night, 24 medical staff members from Southern Medical University had already arrived in Wuhan to help. The university was previously the First Military Medical University and became a civil one in 2004. In 2003, it played a major role in the fight against SARS.

"As an experienced team that had won the battle against SARS, we are responsible for helping our people amid the new pneumonia", said the 24 in a joint application letter, which was posted online.

 

MILITARY MEDICAL TEAMS ARRIVE IN WUHAN TO BATTLE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

About 450 military medical personnel and eight medical teams arrived in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province, on Friday to fight the novel coronavirus pneumonia.

The military medical personnel, among which are 143 from Air Force Medical University in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, 150 from The Second Military Medical University in Shanghai and 135 from Army Medical University in Chongqing. They and a batch of medical supplies and equipment were sent to Wuhan by the Airborne Force.

The medical personnel have rich experience in the prevention, control and treatment of infectious diseases. Some of them participated in the fight against SARS and helped Africa fight an Ebola outbreak. They will go to Jinyintan Hospital, Hankou Hospital, and Wuchang Hospital in Wuhan on Saturday to carry out medical rescue services.

Medical teams from eight hospitals in South China's Guangdong province also rushed to Wuhan on Friday night.

According to the National Health Commission, the Chinese mainland has confirmed 1,287 cases of the new coronavirus pneumonia and 41 deaths.

 

CHINA'S 5G COMMERCIAL SERVICE STARTS WELL

China's 5G commercial service has seen a good start last year with breakthroughs in various sectors, a senior official has said.

China had built 130,000 5G base stations by the end of last year, and shipments of 5G smartphones had topped 13.77 million, Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, has said.

The country officially kicked off 5G commercial use in 2019. Telecom carriers have invested a lot to build a 5G network, while mobile phone producers have scrambled to introduce 5G smartphones.

In addition to interpersonal communication, the vast majority of applications will be used in areas such as the Internet of Vehicles and industrial Internet, said Miao.

This year, China will continue to push for increased investment in the building of the 5G network, improve 5G services to meet various needs and remain committed to opening up and international cooperation to drive the development of 5G sector, Miao said.

 

CHINA CENTRAL BANK RAISES LIMIT ON SMALL BANK PAYMENTS

China's central bank has temporarily raised the upper limit on small bank batch payments in support of the country's fight against the novel coronavirus-related pneumonia.

The People's Bank of China said Friday that it has raised the upper limit on small bank batch payments to 500 million yuan (about $72.4 million) from Jan 24 to 30 to ease fund transfers in the fight against the pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus.

Some 830 confirmed cases of the pneumonia had been reported in 29 provincial-level regions in the country by the end of Thursday.

Among them, 34 had been cured and discharged from hospitals, according to the National Health Commission.

A total of 1,072 suspected cases have been reported in 20 provincial-level regions, according to the commission.

The China Development Bank, one of the country's major policy banks, offered emergency loans worth 2 billion yuan (about $288.3 million) Friday to Wuhan for prevention and control of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The fund was approved and paid in a fast-track manner, and will be used for medical aid, emergency equipment, disease treatment, epidemic control and other fields in Wuhan, the capital city of central China's Hubei Province and the center of the 2019-nCoV outbreak.

The country's finance ministry Thursday allocated a total of 1 billion yuan to support Hubei's battle against 2019-nCoV.

 

CHINA'S POLICE CHIEF STRESSES SECURITY DURING SPRING FESTIVAL

Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi on Friday stressed efforts to ensure security during the Spring Festival holiday.

Zhao made the remarks while inspecting police work on maintaining security in Beijing.

The police should actively prevent and resolve disputes, Zhao said, adding that the work to guard against terrorist incidents and emergencies should be strengthened.

He also urged the police to maintain smooth traffic during the holiday and cooperate with other departments on the prevention and control of the pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus.

Over 150,000 police officers were dispatched across China to ensure road safety on the first day of the week-long Spring Festival holiday, said the traffic management bureau of the Ministry of Public Security on Friday.

As of 6 pm Friday, no traffic accidents with more than five deaths had been reported.

More than 50,000 police vehicles were mobilized nationwide to ensure that people have a smooth drive on the road, according to the bureau.

 

TECH INNOVATION IS ENGINE OF SOFTWARE, IT SECTOR

China's software and information technology sector is increasingly driven by technology innovation, an industrial survey showed.

The index tracking the sector's overall development has continued to rise in recent years, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

The 2019 index rose by 8.6 points over one year ago, with technology innovation as one of the sub-indice posting the fastest growth.

The tech innovation sub-index contributed 52.6 percent to the rise of the sector's overall development.

The total revenue of the software sector amounted to 6.46 trillion yuan (about $931.3 billion) in the first 11 months of 2019, up 15.5 percent from a year earlier, MIIT data showed.

 

RISE IN FOOD ALLERGIES CREATES DEMAND FOR SPECIAL MEDICAL PRODUCTS

The prevalence of food allergies among infants and young children in the country is creating a demand for special medical foods, as well as fierce competition requiring higher quality and services in the sector, said industry experts.

Nestle Health Sciences' Althera and Alfare, two extensively hydrolyzed formulas for infants and young children, have recently obtained Food for Special Medical Purpose (FSMP) registration permits in China.

The two products are currently the only such formulas to have been granted permits, according to Nestle Health Science (NHS), a subsidiary of Nestle, the global food and beverage giant whose headquarters are in Switzerland.

In 2016, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) released a regulation that categorizes FSMP as one kind of special food together with infant formulas and health foods, subject to specialized management requiring registration with the CFDA before sale in China.

Since then, only 43 products from companies at home and abroad have obtained FSMP permits. Among them, 29 are aimed at the infant market and 10 are for babies aged one year old and above, according to NHS.

The World Health Organization has listed allergic diseases as one of the key preventable public health diseases. The prevalence of food allergies in children is 0.02 percent to 8 percent, and has increased in recent years, causing concern.

Among them, milk is the most common food allergen for babies under the age of 3, with a prevalence of 2.5 percent to 7 percent, causing symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea and eczema.

 

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