China still mostly closed down as virus deaths pass 1,000

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A personnel wearing protective suit waits near an entrance at the Cheung Hong Estate, a public housing estate during evacuation of residents in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health evacuated some residents from the public housing estate after two cases of novel coronavirus infection to stop the potential risk of further spread of the virus. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

BEIJING – The daily death toll in China from a new virus topped 100 for the first time, pushing the total fatalities above 1,000 Tuesday as the World Health Organization announced a new name for the disease caused by the virus.

Despite the official end of the extended Lunar New Year holiday, China remained mostly closed for business as many remained at home, with some 60 million people under virtual quarantine.

In Geneva, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced a new name for the disease caused by the virus — COVID-19 — saying officials wanted to avoid stigmatizing any geographic location, group of people or animal that might be linked to the disease and to make it clear it was a new coronavirus discovered in 2019.

“Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks," the WHO chief said, adding that the name was agreed upon by officials at WHO, the World Organization for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Here are the latest developments:

PROVINCIAL HEALTH OFFICIALS SACKED

With the death toll reaching 1,016 in mainland China and no end in sight, heads are beginning to roll.

While no central government-level officials have lost their jobs, state media reported Tuesday that the top health officials in Hubei province, home to the epicenter of Wuhan, have been relieved of their duties.