28 Jan 2020

China reports 25 more deaths from coronavirus as confirmed cases rocket

7:19 pm on 28 January 2020

China has confirmed 106 people have now died from the coronavirus as it continues its spread across the country, up from the previous toll of 81.

Chinese citizens wear masks in an attempt to protect themselves against the coronavirus.

Photo: AFP

As well as the 25 new deaths from the flu-like illness, the total number of confirmed cases in China rose to 4515, the National Health Commission said in a statement.

Official figures from previous day had the total cases of the virus standing at 2835.

Chinese President Xi Jinping held a special government meeting on the Lunar New Year public holiday at the weekend and afterwards warned the spread of the deadly new virus was accelerating.

The country is facing a "grave situation" Xi told senior officials, according to state television.

China's National Health Commission said all but six of those killed by the previously unknown flu-like virus have been in Wuhan, a city of 11 million now in almost total lockdown.

A second emergency hospital is being built in the city, to handle 1300 new patients and will be finished within the next two weeks state newspaper the People's Daily reported.

It is the second such rapid construction project: work on another 1000-bed hospital has already begun.

Specialist military medical teams have also been flown into Hubei province in attempts to contain the virus.

Footage shared on China's Twitter-like social media platform Weibo showed residents of apartment compounds in the city chanting 'Wuhan, you can do it!' and singing the national anthem out of their windows.

- Reuters

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