Coronavirus infections spiked on Valentine’s Day: World Health Organization

A couple wears masks as the embrace, following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus on Valentine’s Day in Hong Kong. (Reuters)

Coronavirus cases spiked on Valentine’s Day, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data.

A total of 2512 new virus infections were reported on average during the week before Valentine’s Day, but the figure rose dramatically to 15,148 on the day itself, the data showed.

The lethal virus, which has killed more than 2,000 people in China since it was first reported on December 31, 2019, spreads through person-to-person contact, and has an incubation period that can last up to 24 days.

Several cities in China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the virus, went into lockdown with authorities halting transportation services and schools closing temporarily.

Twitter users shared images of alternative bouquets with face masks, hand sanitizers, and painkillers on Valentine’s Day.

Grocery stores and pharmacies worldwide have been running out of masks and medical equipment to combat the virus, the WHO reported earlier this month.

To combat the shortage, Hong Kong Romance Dating, a matchmaking service in Hong Kong, announced that it was offering DIY mask-making classes for people who wanted to find a partner and help prevent the disease from spreading.

In the Philippines, flower shops were selling bouquets of roses packed with hand sanitizers, face masks, soap and gloves.

A survey conducted by the matchmaking service revealed that a third of respondents out of 572 men and women said they were hoping to receive surgical masks and hand sanitizers as Valentine’s Day gifts, the service said in an Instagram post.

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Last Update: 11:18 KSA 14:18 - GMT 11:18
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