Live updates: China strikes upbeat note on coronavirus as businesses reopen; Hong Kong reports second death

Live updates: China strikes upbeat note on coronavirus as businesses reopen; Hong Kong reports second death

China on Wednesday reported that the rate of new cases continues to decline, but international experts, including Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, say they are wary of declaring that the pace of worldwide infections is slowing. Here’s what we know:

● Beijing’s central Xicheng district said it would seal off residential compounds for almost half a million residents in one of the strictest control policies to reach the Chinese capital.

● China tallied a total of 1,749 new infections and 136 deaths through the end of Tuesday, making the cumulative total 74,185 infections and 2,004 deaths — the overwhelming majority still occurring in central Hubei province. Hong Kong reported its second death, a 70-year-old man.

● New stricter criteria for diagnosing coronavirus cases will likely result in further drops in the rate of new infections reported.

● In Japan, an infectious disease specialist slammed conditions on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where 79 new cases were reported Wednesday, saying officials endangered lives by failing to observe proper quarantine practices.

● Iran reported its first two cases of the virus, raising the number infected with the coronavirus in the Middle East to 12, including in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

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