China reports first new local virus case in four days

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Security personnel wearing face masks to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walk along a street outside the Forbidden City in Beijing, China March 18, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Buses carrying members of a medical assistance team from Shenyang leave Shenyang Taoxian Airport upon their return home after helping with the COVID-19 coronavirus recovery effort in Wuhan, in Shenyang in China's northeastern Liaoning province on March 20, 2020. (AFP)
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Medical staff treat check a mobile phone as they treat COVID-19 coronavirus patients at a hospital in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province on March 19, 2020. (AFP)
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Members of a medical assistance team from Jiangsu province chant slogans at a ceremony marking their departure after helping with the COVID-19 coronavirus recovery effort, in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province on March 19, 2020. (AFP)
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A medical worker (R) embraces a member of a medical assistance team from Jiangsu province at a ceremony marking their departure after helping with the COVID-19 coronavirus recovery effort, in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province on March 19, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 22 March 2020

China reports first new local virus case in four days

  • The new domestic infection came about in Guangdong province, and was linked to a previous imported case, according to local authorities

BEIJING: China reported 46 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, including its first case of local transmission in four days.
While the number of virus cases has been falling over the past few weeks in China, there has been growing concern around imported cases as countries around the world step up their fight against the pandemic.
An estimated 900 million people in 35 countries are now confined to their homes, including 600 million cooped in due to government lockdown orders, according to an AFP tally.
While about 56 million people in China’s central Hubei province had been locked down since late January, authorities have begun to ease travel restrictions as the number of fresh infections in Hubei dropped to zero.
On Sunday, China reported 46 new virus cases, with all but one brought in from other countries. For the three consecutive days before, it had no new local cases.
The new domestic infection came about in Guangdong province, and was linked to a previous imported case, according to local authorities.
This is the highest number of new infections from abroad that China has seen in recent days, bringing the tally of imported cases to 314.
China has been stepping up measures to deal with cases from overseas, with Beijing and other regions forcing international arrivals to go into a 14-day quarantine. The civil aviation ministry also said it would limit passenger numbers on inbound international flights.
The death toll from the virus has spiked to over 13,000 worldwide, with the crisis shifting from Asia to Europe — which now accounts for more than half the world’s fatalities linked to COVID-19.
Italy, which reported nearly 800 deaths on Saturday alone, has been the worst-hit.
 


At least 16 dead as India airliner crashes on landing

Updated 32 min 20 sec ago

At least 16 dead as India airliner crashes on landing

  • The Air India Express plane from Dubai had 191 passengers and crew on board when it overshot the runway
  • There were 10 infants on board

NEW DELHI: At least 16 people were killed Friday when a passenger jet overshot and skidded off the runway as it landed in southern India, breaking into two pieces, officials said.
Dozens of people were injured, 15 of them seriously, after the Air India Express Boeing 737 originating from Dubai touched down in Kozhikode in heavy rain.
The airline said more than 190 passengers and crew were on board the plane that, according to the aviation ministry, plunged 10 meters (35 feet) down a slope off the end of the raised so-called table-top runway.
Television footage showed the fuselage of the jet ripped apart and surrounded by emergency personnel working in the dark, spraying the wreckage with water although there was no sign of any fire.
Sakeen K., the district medical officer in the nearby city of Malappuram, said that 16 people had died.
“We are still ascertaining the toll,” she told AFP.
Kozhikode official Seeram Sambasiva said that the two pilots were among the dead.
Senior local policeman Abdul Karim told AFP said that another 15 passengers “have critical injuries. It is still a developing situation.”
“We have at least 89 people, many of them with serious injuries, admitted at different Kozhikode hospitals. The ambulances are still coming in,” said Sujith Das, another senior police official.
“We have been told that all those who have survived the crash also have some form of injuries.”
Aviation regulator DGCA said the plane skidded off the end of the runway and “fell down in the valley and broke down in two pieces.”
Four people were still stuck inside the plane. media reports said.
One television channel reported there had been a problem with the jet’s landing gear.
Air India Express said in a statement that there was “no fire reported at the time of landing.”
It said there were 174 passengers, 10 infants, two pilots and five cabin crew on board the aircraft.
The plane was one of dozens in recent weeks to repatriate some of the thousands of Indians left stranded abroad by the coronavirus pandemic, many of them in Gulf countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences.
“My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest... Authorities are at the spot, providing all assistance to the affected,” Modi said.
The last major plane crash in India was in 2010 when an Air India Express Boeing 737-800 from Dubai to Mangalore overshot the runway and burst into flames.
The crash killed 158 people and left eight survivors.
Kerala has been battered by heavy rains in recent days.
At least 15 people were killed on Friday after a landslide triggered by heavy rains flattened a row of huts elsewhere in the state.
Around 50 other people were feared trapped in the debris. The dead included two children.