China virus death toll hits 636, more than 30,000 infections

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BEIJING, Feb 7, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – The official Chinese death toll from the
coronavirus outbreak rose on Friday to 636, with the government saying total
infections had climbed past 30,000.

The toll was raised by 73 new deaths from the epidemic, the National
Health Commission said in its daily update.

Another 3,143 new cases of infection were confirmed, bringing total
infections in the country thus far to 31,161, it said.

The central province of Hubei where the virus originated continued to be
hardest-hit, accounting for 69 of the new deaths reported in the 24 hours to
Friday.

Of the reported infections, more than 4,800 of those people were in
serious condition.

Chinese authorities are still struggling to contain the outbreak despite
ordering millions of people indoors in a growing number of cities, with
overwhelmed hospitals struggling to treat the surging numbers of ill.

The contagion emerged in the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan in
December, later spreading to the rest of China and more than two dozen other
countries, prompting the World Health Organisation to declare a global
emergency.

The number of confirmed infections in China could still grow
significantly, with the health commission saying that more than 26,000 other
people were “suspected” of having contracted the virus.