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Infection rate stabilizes, but WHO emphasizes unpredictability as coronavirus deaths surpass SARS

China announced Sunday that the death toll resulting from the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan has risen to 811, which is higher than the number of fatalities from the SARS epidemic between 2002 and 2003.

The number of confirmed infections rose to 37,198. The amount of new cases has stabilized in recent days, but the World Health Orgainzationc continues to urge caution, and many doctors reportedly believe the number of deaths and infections have been undercounted because of the strain China’s testing facilities are under. “It’s very, very early to make predictions,” said Dr. Michael Ryan, the executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program.

WHO’s Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the measures being put in place in China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, look like they’re “paying off,” but he also wasn’t ready to make any sweeping statements. “We have to understand it with caution because it can show stability for a few days and then they can shoot up,” he said. “I’ve said it many times: It’s slow now, but it may accelarate.”

The vast majority of deaths have occurred in mainland China. There has been one death in the Philippines and another in Hong Kong. Read more at The New York Times and Reuters.

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