The death toll from the coronavirus epidemic in mainland China soared past 1,000 on Tuesday with a record daily rise in fatalities, although the number of new confirmed cases fell.
Another 108 new coronavirus deaths were reported, a daily record, bringing the total number of people killed in the country to 1,016, the National Health Commission said.
There were 2,478 new confirmed cases on the mainland on Feb. 10, down from 3,062 on the previous day, bringing the total to 42,638.
It was the second time in the past two weeks that authorities recorded a daily drop in new cases, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has cautioned the spread of cases outside of China could be “the spark that becomes a bigger fire”, warning the human race must not let the epidemic get out of control.
There are 319 cases in 24 other countries and territories, according to WHO and Chinese health officials. So far only two deaths have been reported outside mainland China, in Hong Kong and the Philippines.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship with 3,700 passengers and crew remained quarantined in the Japanese port of Yokohama, with 65 more cases detected, taking the number of confirmed cases from the Carnival Corp-owned (CCL.N) vessel to 135.
Thailand said on Tuesday it had barred passengers from Holland America’s cruise ship MS Westerdam from disembarking, the latest country to turn it away amid fears of the coronavirus despite no confirmed infections aboard.
The company, owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp (CCL.N), had said passengers would disembark in Bangkok on Feb. 13 and that there was no reason to believe anybody aboard had the virus.
“I have issued orders. Permission to dock refused,” Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said in a Facebook post.
The Westerdam, with a reported 1,455 passengers and 802 crew, has already been turned away from several countries, including Japan, the Philippines and Thailand.