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Sixth person in US dies from coronavirus

The worldwide death toll has now topped 3,000.

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A man with a face mask walks on a street in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Martin Meissner/AP)

A man with a face mask walks on a street in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Martin Meissner/AP)

A man with a face mask walks on a street in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Martin Meissner/AP)

The US has reported a sixth death from the coronavirus strain known as Covid-19 as new cases in China dropped to their lowest level in more than a month.

Health officials in Washington state said four more people had died from the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the number of deaths in the US to six, all in Washington.

New cases were also reported in New Hampshire and New York.

In Seattle, King County Executive Dow Constantine declared an emergency and said the county is buying a hotel to be used as a hospital for patients who need to be isolated.

“We have moved to a new stage in the fight,” he said.

More than 100 cases have been confirmed in the US, with more almost certain in the coming weeks.

HEALTH Coronavirus
New cases of coronavirus per day. Infographic by PA Graphics

Thousands of test kits were on their way to state and local labs and new guidelines intended to expand screening were put in place.

“In this situation, the facts defeat fear,” New York governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Meanwhile in China, hundreds of patients were released from hospitals at the epicenter of the outbreak.

The country reported just 202 new cases on Monday, its lowest daily count since January 21, and the city at the heart of the crisis, Wuhan, said 2,570 patients had been released.

At the largest of 16 temporary hospitals that were rapidly built in Wuhan in response to the outbreak, worries over the availability of supplies and protective gear eased, along with the pressure on the medical staff.

Dr. Zhang Junjian, who leads a temporary hospital in Wuhan with a staff of 1,260, said optimism is high that the facility will no longer be needed in the coming weeks.

Containment is feasible and must remain the top priority for all countries.WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

However alarming clusters of the disease continued to swell in South Korea, Italy and Iran, and the virus turned up for the first time in New York, Moscow and Berlin, as well as Latvia, Indonesia, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Jordan and Portugal.

The worldwide death toll topped 3,000, and the number of those infected rose to about 89,000 in 70 countries on every continent except Antarctica.

But global health officials sought to reassure the public that the virus remains a manageable threat.

“Containment is feasible and must remain the top priority for all countries,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

PA Media