China pledges $11.8b to fight Wuhan virus outbreak

A patient is assisted by medical workers in protective clothing as he exits an ambulance in Wuhan, China, on Jan 27, 2020.
A patient is assisted by medical workers in protective clothing as he exits an ambulance in Wuhan, China, on Jan 27, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

China has pledged 60.33 billion yuan (S$11.8 billion) in its fight to contain the Sars-like virus outbreak that has swept across the country and sparked global concern.

This comes as the death toll rose to 81 amid hundreds of new infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 2,744, with 461 seriously ill.

Premier Li Keqiang also visited Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus outbreak, which has been put under lockdown, with public transport suspended, railway stations and airports shut, and no one allowed in or out.

Mr Li, the first senior leader to visit the affected city, promised ample supplies of necessities and said prices would be kept stable.

China's Cabinet also announced that the Chinese New Year holiday would be extended by three days to curb the spread of the virus by restricting movement.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 28, 2020, with the headline 'China pledges $11.8b to fight virus outbreak'. Print Edition | Subscribe