Coronavirus death toll rises to 80
Published: 10:07 AM, 27 January 2020 Updated: 02:47 PM, 27 January 2020
The number of people killed in China by the coronavirus has risen to 80, with almost 3,000 confirmed ill, health officials said on Monday.
According to health commission officials, the number of deaths in Hubei province had climbed from 56 to 76, with four deaths elsewhere. The overall number of confirmed cases in China is 2,744. State media say more than 300 are critically ill.
Another 41 cases have been confirmed abroad, including in Thailand, the United States, and Australia. There have been no deaths outside China.
The national new year holiday in China has been extended by three days to Sunday, in an attempt to contain the outbreak.
The coronavirus causes severe acute respiratory infection and there is no specific cure or vaccine. Most deaths involve elderly people or those with pre-existing respiratory problems.
Wuhan in Hubei, the source of the outbreak, is in lockdown and several cities have imposed travel bans.
Travel from the city, home to 11 million people, has been severely restricted and non-essential vehicles have been banned from the roads. At the Hubei border, workers are checking people's temperatures before allowing them into the province.
The emergency has overwhelmed Wuhan's hospitals. More than half a million medical staff have joined prevention, control and treatment operations in Hubei province.
Two new makeshift hospitals are being built in Wuhan, the provincial capital, and factories are rushing to produce masks and protective clothing.
The city's mayor Zhou Xianwang said the number of cases would continue to rise, and warned that around five million new year travellers left the city before the lockdown.
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