The postal service between Malta and China has been immediately suspended, the result of a number of airlines suspending their flights to China.
Maltapost announced the suspension is until further notice even though there is no risk of the coronavirus being conveyed through postal items. In a further development the World Health Organisation announced that there are now 73,000 confirmed coronavirus victims worldwide, including 14 Americans who are being detained in quarantine on a cruise liner in Japan.
Chinese media have reported that the Director of a Wuhan hospital has died after contracting the virus. An extensive study has shown that doctors and nurses are the greatest at risk of contracting the coronavirus. So far in China there are 1,700 medical employees that have contracted the virus.
Dr Liu Zhiming, aged 51, was directing one of seven hospitals treating coronavirus patients. Confusion and concern over his death recalled the memory of 34-year-old Dr Li Wenliang, who at the start of the year raised the alarm about the virus but was discredited by the Chinese authorities.
According to latest statistics, 1,873 people have now died after contracting the virus and over 73,000 persons are infected with almost 2,000 new cases being confirmed daily.
“These data give us a better understanding about the age range of people affected, the severity of the disease and the mortality rate. As such, they are very important in enabling WHO to provide good evidence-based advice to countries. We encourage all countries to share their data publicly. The data also appeared to show a decline in new cases. This trend must be interpreted very cautiously. Trends can change as new populations are affected. It’s too early to tell if this reported decline will continue. Every scenario is still on the table.”
Everything indicates that the Chinese Authorities are doing everything possible to control the virus with over 150 million people being confined to their homes and a further 760 million under restriction for any travel in efforts to control spread.
The saga of the cruise liner MV Westerdam is still ongoing. The liner was allowed to enter a Cambodian port after being barred from entering five other ports because of a suspected case of coronavirus on board, that of an 83-year-old American woman.
Meanwhile, a Maltese couple who were on the liner are now in quarantine in Malta but a local journal has reported that an elderly Maltese man was also on board the ship.