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First US death from coronavirus confirmed in Washington state



The Washington Department of Health confirmed Saturday the first coronavirus-related death in Washington state, according to a press release.

Health officials said there are new King County cases in addition to the two new cases confirmed Friday evening.

A statement provided by EvergreenHealth said that the patient came into the facility with serious respiratory issues, and after following CDC guidelines, the patient was tested for COVID-19. The patient later died after testing positive for the virus.

The statement also said a second patient tested positive and is currently in isolation and receiving treatment.

According to U.S. News, At least 14,000 people have died and 250,000 have already been hospitalized during the 2019-2020 flu season, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 26 million Americans have fallen ill with flu-like symptoms.

This is a developing story.

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Coronavirus death toll takes drastic climb



Credit: Martin Pollard

Over the last 72 hours, the death toll from the Coronavirus has nearly doubled in China, with another 25 people reported dead in the past 24 hours alone. According to the Chinese authorities, the death toll from the Coronavirus has now reached a 81 after two dozen people succumbed to the illness overnight.

Due to this death toll, the Chinese authorities have announced the extension of the Lunar New Year holiday, while more big businesses shut down or told their staff to work from home in an effort to curb the spread of this virus.

The Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang visited the city of Wuhan this week, the epicenter of the outbreak, as the central government stepped up its response while city authorities faced growing accusations from the public of mismanagement and a failure to respond to the outbreak in time.

The recent spread of this virus has also had a major impact on the Chinese economy as shares tumbled on Monday, with Japan’s Nikkei average sliding 2.0%, its biggest one-day fall in five months, as investors grew anxious. Demand spiked for safe-haven assets such as the Japanese yen and Treasury notes.

The total number of confirmed cases in China rose about 30% from the previous day, to 2,744, with about half in the central province of Hubei, the capital of which is Wuhan. But some experts suspect the number of infected people is much higher.

As worry grew around the world, Chinese-ruled Hong Kong, which has had eight confirmed cases, banned entry to people who had visited Hubei in the past 14 days. The ban did not cover Hong Kong residents.

People from Hubei have come under scrutiny within mainland China as well, with many people facing suspicion from officials about their recent travels.

The number of deaths from the virus in Hubei climbed to 76 from 56, health officials said, with five deaths elsewhere in China.

While a small number of cases linked to people who traveled from Wuhan have been confirmed in more than 10 countries, including Thailand, France, Japan and the United States, no deaths have been reported elsewhere.

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China quarantines 11 million over Mutating Virus



Photo credit: Kota Endo

The Chinese government has imposed a quarantine on the city of Wuhan as a fatal virus associated with that city continues to spread throughout the world.

The city is at the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak that has killed 17 people and sickened at least 500 more. Reports of the disease have popped up in the United States, Japan, Taiwan, and elsewhere.

Numerous countries have warned citizens to avoid travel to Wuhan. Chinese officials are facing intense scrutiny over claims that health authorities knew the extent of the disease but attempted to cover it up as the threat grew.

The Chinese government promised that any public officials who participate in any cover-ups of the disease would be “nailed on the pillar of shame for eternity.”

Stay tuned for updates. This is a developing story.

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News and Politics

Protests against Indian Citizenship Law turn Deadly



Credit/Rajanish Kakade

Widespread protests continue to circulate in New Dehli, opposing a new citizenship law that disrupts India’s current democratic structure and advances toward a Hindu state.

Local authorities have reportedly escalated to extreme measures by placing restrictive bans to prohibit future demonstrations and canceled internet services in parts of the country to hinder communication.

Critics speculate the controversial legislation introduced by Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government will marginalize India’s 200 million Muslims, and violate the country’s secular constitution.

The public gatherings began Thursday with outraged citizens at Muslim universities and quickly broadened to larger communities in India.

Many believe this is an outright act of anti-semitism on Muslims, others, and Hindu conservatives with concerns of the new bill inducing far-flung immigration to the country.

Nearly 2 million people were excluded from an official list of citizens about half Hindu and half Muslim, and have been asked to prove their citizenship or else be considered foreign.

As of Friday (Dec. 20), approximately 1,200 protesters were detained after they resisted the bans, although, the majority have been released the same day.

A total of eight deaths have been reported so far, including five in Assam and two in southern Karnataka state, according to The Associated Press.

The protests come behind repression in Muslim-majority Kashmir, which was recently deprived of its self-governing nature and demoted from a state into a federal territory last summer.

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