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Coronavirus: Death Toll Hits 563 As China Scrambles for Bed Space

China has continued to scramble for bed space for thousands of newly infected patients on Thursday, as the death toll from the deadly coronavirus hit 563.

The deadly virus has infected over 28,000 people which has made the World Health Organisation (WHO) declare a global health emergency.

Over 24 countries have now have confirmed cases of the virus that emerged from a market selling exotic animals in Wuhan at the end of last year.

READ: All You Need to Know About Coronavirus

On Thursday, February 6, 2020 thousands of people were stranded aboard two cruise ships in Asia, with tests finding that 20 people had contracted the virus in one of the vessels.

The locked-down city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus was due to open a second field hospital, offering 1,600 beds.

After the first hospital with a capacity of 1,000 beds, opened earlier this week, authorities said they were converting public buildings into temporary medical facilities to deal with the influx of sick people.

With people contacting the virus daily, the city which has about 11 million people is facing a ‘severe’ lack of beds.

According to Hu Lishan, a senior official in Wuhan, there were 8,182 patients admitted to 28 hospitals that have a total of 8,254 beds. He added that there is also a shortage of equipment and materials.

The central government has intensified measures to ensure the supply of vital medical resources, with tax breaks for manufacturers of equipment needed to fight the epidemic.

‘We must make all-out efforts across the country to meet the need for essential medical supplies and medical professionals in Hubei Province,’ Premier Li Keqiang said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

BGI Group, a genome sequencing company, based in southern China, said it opened on Wednesday a lab in Wuhan able to test up to 10,000 people per day for the virus.

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