China coronavirus toll reaches 80, 2,744 infected

Beijing, Chinese health authorities on Monday said that 80 people have died due to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in the country, with 2,744 confirmed cases.

The National Health Commission said that of the infected, 461 were in critical condition, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sunday saw 769 new confirmed cases, 3,806 new suspected cases and 24 deaths (all in Hubei province), the Commission revealed.

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By the end of Sunday, 51 people had recovered and there were currently a total of 5,794 suspected cases.

Meanwhile, at least 32,799 close contacts have been traced, the Commission said, adding that among them, 583 were discharged from medical observation on Sunday, with 30,453 others still under medical observation.

The figures also showed that 17 confirmed cases had been reported in Hong Kong (eight), Macao (five) and Taiwan (four).

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Outside of China, there are currently eight confirmed cases in Thailand (five of which have been discharged from hospital); five in the US; four each in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, France and Japan (one cured); three in South Korea; two in Vietnam; and one each in Nepal and Canada.

Pakistan has five suspected cases who are all under observation.

China has announced the extension of the Spring Festival holiday until February 2, amid its efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Universities, primary and secondary schools, and kindergartens across the country will postpone the start of the semester, said a State Council General Office circular, adding that the specific time for the semester start will be unveiled by respective education authorities.

The measure is taken to help reduce mass gatherings, curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, and to better safeguard the safety and health of the Chinese people, according to the circular.

The symptoms of the new coronavirus, provisionally designated by the WHO as 2019-nCoV, are similar to those of cold but may be accompanied by fever and fatigue, dry cough and dyspnea (shortness of breath).

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--IANS

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