The global death toll from the coronavirus crisis has risen to 805, surpassing the number of fatalities from the deadly SARS outbreak in 2003.
When severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) swept through Asia, it infected more than 8,000 people and killed 774.
Both the SARS and Coronavirus started in China, and both are believed to have originated from wild animal markets.
When the latter emerged in Wuhan in December, the Chinese government initially sought to play down comparisons, and arrested eight people who tried to warn their friends and family about the new disease.
One of them was a doctor who died of coronavirus earlier this week – sparking grief and anger across the country.
Chinese officials say at least 805 people have died of coronavirus as of today, although health experts have continued to warn they are underestimating the number of cases.
The vast majority of deaths (about 780) have occurred in China’s Hubei province, the epicentre of coronavirus.
Only two fatalities have occurred outside mainland China – one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.
The latest casualty figure comes after a third and final repatriation flight for Brits stuck in Wuhan took off today.
The plane, with British Government staff and military medics on board, is expected to arrive at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire at around 5.30am on Sunday.
Kents Hill Park, a conference centre and hotel in Milton Keynes, will be used to house the returnees and they will remain there in isolation for 14 days.
Everyone boarding the plane in Wuhan will be assessed and will continue to be monitored after landing in the UK.
Anyone displaying symptoms would not have been permitted to board the plane, officials said.
Anyone who develops symptoms on the flight will be taken to a separate cabin on the plane, and those who display symptoms on landing will be transferred to an NHS hospital.
The first group of Britons who returned on a rescue flight last month are continuing their quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital, Merseyside.
There have been three cases of Coronavirus in the UK. One British national caught it at a business conference in Singapore and is thought to have infected five others at a ski resort in France before being diagnosed in his hometown in Brighton on Thursday.
An international search is underway for guests of the conference, which has spread a coronavirus trail from Singapore to Britain, France and possibly beyond.
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