China sees rise in new virus cases; death toll rises by 105

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Chinese authorities on Monday reported a slight upturn in new virus cases and 105 more deaths, as the military dispatched hundreds more medical workers and extra supplies to the city hit hardest by the 2-month-old outbreak.

The 2,048 new cases followed three days of declines but was up by just 39 from the previous day’s tally of new cases. Another 10,844 people have recovered from COVID-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus, and have been discharged from hospitals, according to Monday’s figures. The death toll is 1,770.

With fears of the virus spreading further, Chinese and residents of nearby countries and territories have begun hoarding supplies of everything from masks and other personal protective gear to instant noodles, cooking oil and toilet paper.

In Hong Kong, local media reported that police had arrested two men and were seeking three others who allegedly stole a load of 60 packs of toilet paper at knifepoint early Monday morning. Supplies of the commodity have become extremely scarce, with often only low-quality imports still available. Police were expected to discuss the matter later.

Another 1,200 doctors and nurses from China’s military began arriving in Wuhan on Monday morning, the latest contingent sent to help shore up the city’s overwhelmed health-care system.

The city has rapidly built two prefabricated hospitals and converted gymnasiums and other spaces into wards for those showing milder symptoms, but residents still say they are being wait-listed for beds and even ambulance rides.

Wuhan has accounted for the vast majority of mainland China’s 70,548 cases. Some 60 million people in that area and other parts of China are under lockdown in a bid to prevent the virus from spreading further.

Public transportation, trains and air travel have been halted in Wuhan since Jan. 23, and a ban on all vehicle travel in the city was expanded to all of surrounding Hubei province in an additional containment measure. Vehicles involved in epidemic prevention and transporting daily necessities were exempt.

New cases in other countries are raising more concern about containment of the virus. Though only a few hundred cases have been confirmed outside China, some recent cases lacked obvious connections to China.