There's Good News and Bad News on Coronavirus

News cases are slowing, but deaths now exceed SARS outbreak
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2020 6:09 AM CST
There's Good News and Bad News on Coronavirus
A passenger from the cruise ship World Dream docked at Kai Tak cruise terminal shakes hands with staff as she disembarks the ship after being quarantined for the coronavirus in Hong Kong, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

The number of new cases of coronavirus has fallen, in what the AP reports is a possible sign of containment. But with that glimmer of hope comes a grim milestone: the BBC reports that China's death toll from the virus rose on Sunday by 89 to 811—which puts it over the number of people who died of SARS in that 2002-2003 epidemic. (There are 37,198 confirmed cases of coronavirus, while SARS sickened only 8,098 people.) Among those fatalities was a 60-year-old US citizen in Wuhan, the first American death in the outbreak. China reported 2,656 new cases in the 24 hours ending at midnight on Saturday; while that sounds like a lot, it's down 20% from the 3,399 reported in the previous 24-hour cycle. There is a caveat, however: Chinese labs have a backlog of thousands of samples, which will drive up the number of new cases. (More coronavirus stories.)

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