Nearly 1,900 dead. More than 500 infected on a cruise ship. An activist arrested for criticising the handling of the epidemic. Here are the latest developments in China's coronavirus crisis:
NEARLY 1,900 DEAD
Mainland China's official death toll hits 1,868. More than 72,300 people have now been infected there and 900 cases recorded around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) however, says that epidemic outside China is only affecting a "tiny" proportion of the population and the virus has a mortality rate of around two percent. With drugmakers racing to develop a vaccine, Chinese health officials urge patients who have recovered from the coronavirus to donate blood so that plasma can be extracted to treat others who are critically ill.
CRUISE SHIP OFF JAPAN
The number of people infected aboard a cruise ship quarantined off Japan since February 3 leaps to 542 -- by far the biggest cluster outside the epicentre in China. Australia, Britain, Canada, Hong Kong and South Korea have said they will follow the United States in evacuating their citizens from the ship.
The iPhone maker Apple announces it will miss its March quarter revenue forecast and global iPhone supplies will fall, triggering a fall in Asian stock markets. Dependent on Chinese components and with a big Chinese market, Apple has been hit by travel bans and mass quarantines inside China forcing factories to suspend operations and shops to close.
Amnesty International says Chinese police have arrested a prominent activist who criticised President Xi Jinping's handling of the coronavirus epidemic while in hiding. "Medical supplies are tight, hospitals are filled with patients, and a large number of infected people have no way to be diagnosed," activist Xu Zhiyong wrote in a February 4 article. "It's a mess."
INDIA BARS CHINESE WRESTLERS
India bans Chinese wrestlers from this week's Asian Championships in New Delhi because of the coronavirus outbreak. The International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva is also postponed until September due to travel restrictions, as a third of the inventions were to come from mainland China and another third from Hong Kong.