woman wearing mask
© Reuters / Aly Song
A woman wearing a face mask and raincoat sits in the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station on the last day of the Spring Festival travel rush, as China is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
The viral outbreak gripping China has claimed over 2,000 lives - the vast majority in Hubei province, the epicenter of the illness - according to the latest official tally. More than 75,000 people have been infected to date.

Health officials in Hubei reported 132 new fatalities on Tuesday, a significant increase from the 93 confirmed the day prior. However even as the death and disease tolls continue to climb in China and elsewhere, over 13,000 patients have recovered from the contagion, including some 8,000 in Hubei.

While the two confirmed coronavirus patients in Russia, both Chinese citizens, have recovered and were recently discharged from the hospital, Moscow on Tuesday announced a travel ban on Chinese nationals looking to enter Russia for work, tourism or other private purposes. The restriction will come into force later this week.

In order to "mitigate global shortages" of certain supplies needed to combat the outbreak, the World Health Organization announced that some 12,000kg of protective gear would soon be shipped out to "priority countries." The equipment will be sent to 21 nations, according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who noted that a second shipment to an additional 106 countries would follow in the coming weeks.


Confirmed cases aboard a cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan have soared to 542 after the most recent round of tests, which found 88 additional infections. The ship carries some 3,700 passengers and has become the largest epicenter for the deadly virus beyond China. Around 300 Americans were evacuated from the vessel on Monday on an emergency flight arranged by the State Department and are now in quarantine. Fourteen of them have since tested positive for the illness, though they showed no symptoms on the flight back to the US and were isolated from the rest of the passengers.