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As of the end of 5 February, Chinese authorities have reported 73 new deaths to total 565, including one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases is 28,275.

Of the 28,049 confirmed cases in China, 3,859 are reported to be in serious condition. At a news conference on 5 February, WHO director-general said that the past 24 hours saw the most cases in one day since the outbreak began.

According to the National Health Commission (NHC), 26,302 patients are under quarantine for treatment in mainland China , while 24,702 people are suspected to have been infected.

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The new coronavirus, which emerged in Wuhan, was initially believed to only spread from animals. It is now known to be also capable of human-to-human spread, with domestic transmissions reported in various countries.

On 5 February, Xinhua reported that a newborn baby in China tested positive for the virus, marking the youngest case reported to date. The baby’s mother tested positive before giving birth and the mode of disease transmission is yet to be identified.

China remains optimistic of coronavirus outbreak

Chinese authorities are optimistic about containing the coronavirus outbreak, stating that encouraging signs were observed in combating the virus.

NHC noted that most coronavirus patients in China are suffering from only mild symptoms. The health agency also highlighted a drop in fatality rate and the number of patients with fever.

On 4 February, the NHC said that the initial 2.3% case fatality rate in mainland China decreased to the current 2.1%.

In addition, the average hospital stay is said to be not more than 20 days. As of the end of 5 February, 1,153 patients have been discharged from hospitals.

NHC official Jiao Yahui said: “We are eager to see a turning point in the outbreak situation as early as possible. China is going all out to improve admission and survival rates and reduce infection and fatality rates.”

Another noteworthy observation by the agency was that more than 80% of the deaths were people aged around 60 years, of which more than 75% were suffering from at least one underlying disease.

Read death toll update of 05 February here.