Coronavirus death toll crosses 900 with 40,000 cases confirmed in China

World 
Coronavirus death toll crosses 900 with 40,000 cases confirmed in China

Beijing (Agencies): The number of deaths from China’s new coronavirus epidemic jumped past 900 on Monday.


The National Health Commission confirmed infections in China's coronavirus outbreak has reached 40,171 nationwide with more than 3,000 new cases reported.

In its daily update, Hubei's health commission also confirmed another 2,618 new cases in the central province, where the outbreak emerged in December.

The commission said there had been 97 new deaths from the virus — with 91 in hardest-hit Hubei province — bringing the national toll to 908.

The new virus is believed to have emerged last year in a market that sells wild animals in Hubei's capital Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak, before spreading across the country.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said Saturday that the number of cases being reported daily in China was "stabilising", although the health body warned it was too early to say if the virus had peaked.

A WHO "international expert mission" left late Sunday for China, the agency's director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter.

The only confirmed fatalities outside the mainland are a Chinese man in the Philippines and a 39-year-old man in Hong Kong.

The toll has overtaken the global number of deaths caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus, which killed 774 people in 2002-03.

The epidemic has prompted the government to lock down whole cities as anger mounts over its handling of the crisis — especially after a whistleblowing doctor fell victim to the virus.