China on Saturday reported 47 more deaths from the new coronavirus, raising the death toll in the country to 2,835.
The National Health Commission also tallied 427 new cases, an increase from the previous day, bringing the total number of infections to 79,251.
One person died in Beijing and another in Henan province, while 45 died in Hubei.
All but four of the new cases were in Hubei, and 420 were in its capital, Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated in a market that sold wild animals.
While the number of new cases rose from 327 on Friday, they remain in the hundreds, far below the huge, daily increases that China was recording more than 10 days ago.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The World Health Organisation said earlier this week that there were now more daily cases abroad than in China.
China has placed 56 million people in Hubei under strict quarantine for more than a month and limited crowds across the country in an unprecedented effort to contain the virus.Officials say the country has made progress against the virus but measures remain in place, including the closure of schools. Businesses have slowly started to reopen.