China reports 433 new coronavirus cases, 29 deaths on Feb 26

A nurse prepares equipment in an intensive care unit at a hospital in Wuhan on Feb 22, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Mainland China reported 433 new cases of coronavirus infections on Wednesday (Feb 26), the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Thursday, up from 406 the previous day.

The total number of confirmed cases on mainland China has now reached 78,497, the health authority said.

The number of new deaths stood at 29, the lowest daily rate since Jan 28, and down from 52 the previous day. The outbreak has now killed a total of 2,744 people.

Hubei, the central Chinese province at the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 409 new cases and 26 deaths on Wednesday. Beijing and the provinces of Heilongjiang and Henan were the locations of the other three fatalities.

The number of new cases outside Hubei stood at 24, up from 5 on the previous day and reversing five days of declines.

The number of new confirmed coronavirus cases in Beijing on Feb 26 had jumped to 10 from zero the previous day. Pang Xinghuo, deputy head of Beijing Centre of Disease Control, told a news briefing on Thursday that it was a cluster case.

The new cases all stemmed from a property management agency in Beijing's Chaoyang district, and had either been working in the same office or sharing the same dormitory, Pang said.

According to NHC, China will focus on preventing those infected with coronavirus from crossing borders and work to strengthen international cooperation.

The comments by Mi Feng at a news conference come after the number of new infections overseas exceeded those in China for the first time this week, with Italy and Iran emerging as new epicentres.

Some so-called imported cases have already been found, with the city of Shanghai on Thursday saying a coronavirus patient had arrived on Feb 20 from Iran, having taken a flight via Moscow.

The patient, who was wearing a mask throughout the journey, then travelled to Zhongwei via the city of Lanzhou by train.

Shanghai officials said at a separate press conference that they would strengthen their monitoring of people travelling from countries with a large number of infection cases, and would work to prevent people from bringing the virus from overseas.

The market regulator also said it had suspended 11,000 vendors involved in illegal wildlife trade and dropped more than 750,000 items from online platforms related to such trade.

More than 40 countries and regions outside mainland China have reported infections.

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