Coronavirus: 'Everyone I know is following the numbers'

  • Video report by ITV News Asia Correspondent Debi Edward

Everyone I know in Beijing is following the numbers, they’ve even created a special app on WeChat for us to follow coronavirus updates.

Reading the figures can make you more nervous and dismayed at the spread of this epidemic but for many people there’s a certain comfort in being informed, knowing the facts.

A screenshot of the messaging platform WeChat which has launched an app for coronavirus updates.

On Wednesday, we learned the awful news that a new born baby in Wuhan had become one of the latest, and youngest to contract the virus.

Its mother had tested positive for the virus and tests revealed her child too had the infection. This indicates the virus can been transmitted from a mother to her unborn child.

The majority of the cases have, however, been in those over 60-years-old, and there have been several cases among those in their nineties.

A clerk wearing a face mask and a plastic bag stands in a pharmacy in Wuhan. Credit: AP

So far, 80 per cent of those who have died have been aged over 60 and 75 per cent of them have had pre-existing conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, and coronary heart diseases.

Most deaths have occurred owing to pneumonia which has in some cases led to organ dysfunction, septic shock and cardiac arrest. Two thirds of all of those who have died have been men.

Of the now more than 20,000 cases, 97 per cent of them have been in Hubei Province.

The death rate for the whole of China is 2.1 per cent which compares to an average of 11 per cent for the SARS outbreak of 2002 to 2003.

But in Wuhan, the death rate is 4.9 per cent, the virus does appear to be most virulent at the epicentre.

A man wears a face mask as he stands along the waterfront in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province. Credit: AP

A glimmer of good news is that the number of recovered patients has doubled since Monday. The bad news is the spread of the virus continues unabated.

The figures we are glued to, including those recovery cases, do look set to rise for many more days to come.