The death toll from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China crossed 2,000-mark on Wednesday with 136 new deaths, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 74,185, China's health authorities said.
In its daily report, the National Health Commission (NHC) said that 2,004 people had died of the disease known as COVID-19. NHC said 1,749 new cases of novel coronavirus infection have been confirmed.
Of the new deaths, 132 were reported from the worst-hit Hubei Province and one each from Heilongjiang, Shandong, Guangdong and Guizhou.
Another 1,185 new suspected cases have been reported. On Tuesday, 236 patients became seriously ill, while 1,824 people were discharged from hospital after recovery. The commission added that 11,977 patients remained in severe condition, and 5,248 people were suspected of being infected with the virus, media reports stated.
While deaths on the mainland have now exceeded 2,000, for the first time the number of patients who had recovered and been discharged from hospital was greater than the number of new cases reported. Outside Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, the number of new infections fell for the 15th consecutive day, reported South China Morning post.
Hubei continued to be hardest hit by the coronavirus, with 1,693 new cases and 132 new deaths on Wednesday morning. The National Health Commission said 1,824 patients had recovered and had been discharged from hospital.
World Health Organisation (WHO) officials have repeatedly called on countries to refrain from taking measures to restrict China-related travel and trade, while applauding the drastic measures taken by China, such as its lockdown of tens of millions of people in numerous cities.
WHO experts are in China to collect information and offer guidance to authorities there. As part of that mission, the team may travel to Wuhan, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing on Tuesday.
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