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Coronavirus: Worldwide cases overtake 2003 Sars outbreak

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Global markets under pressure over fear of coronavirus spreadBeijing (IANS) Even as the number of deaths from the new coronavirus in China touched 213, infection in nearly 10,000 other persons took such cases worldwide beyond those reported during the Sars epidemic in over two dozen countries in 2003.

As compared to nearly 10,000 people infected with the new coronavirus, most in China since it emerged in December, around 8,100 cases of Sars – severe acute respiratory syndrome – were reported during the eight-month outbreak in 2003, BBC reported.

In total, 774 people were killed by Sars.

More than 100 new coronavirus cases have been reported outside China, in 22 countries. The number of deaths so far stands at 213 – all in China.

On Thursday, the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency over the new outbreak.

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Two cases of the virus were confirmed for the first time in the UK on Friday.

Most international cases are of people who have been to the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province, where the virus originated.

Germany, Japan, Vietnam, the United States, Thailand and South Korea have reported cases of patients being infected by people who had travelled to China.

Sars was a type of coronavirus that first emerged in China”s Guangdong province in November 2002. By the time the outbreak ended the following July, it had spread to more than two dozen countries.

The new coronavirus emerged only last month. So far, it has spread to fewer countries and – while more people have been infected globally – it has resulted in fewer deaths. On Wednesday, the number of confirmed cases within China surpassed the Sars epidemic.

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Sars was also estimated to have cost the global economy more than 30 billion dollars.

But economists have said the new coronavirus could have an even bigger impact on the world economy. It has forced global companies including tech giants, car makers and retailers to shut down temporarily in China.

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China was also criticised by the UN”s global health body for concealing the scale of the original Sars outbreak.

It has been praised for responding to the latest virus with tough measures, including effectively quarantining millions of residents in cities.

–IANS

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