China coronavirus deaths surpass SARS, exceeds 813
China raised the death toll from the coronavirus epidemic to 811 on Sunday, passing the number killed globally by the SARS epidemic in 2002/2003 and raising anxiety among people preparing to return to work after an extended Lunar New Year break.
Struggling to contain the spread of the disease, authorities had told businesses to tack up to 10 extra days onto holidays that had been due to finish at the end of January as the rising numbers of dead and infected cast a pall over the country.
Many of China’s usually teeming cities have almost become ghost towns during the past two weeks, as the Communist Party rulers ordered virtual lockdowns, canceled flights, closed factories and kept schools shut.
The sight of an economy regarded as a workshop to the world laid so low has also taken a toll on international financial markets, as shares slumped and investors switched into safe-havens like gold, bonds and the Japanese yen.
Even on Monday, a large number of workplaces will remain closed and many white-collar workers will continue to work from home.
The new deaths on Saturday reached another daily record at 89, data from the National Health Commission showed, pushing the total well over the 774 who died from SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.