Coronavirus: China reports 406 new cases, 52 more deaths

A photo taken on Feb 24, 2020, shows medical staff treating patients infected by the coronavirus at a hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP, REUTERS, XINHUA) - China on Wednesday (Feb 26) reported 52 new coronavirus deaths, the lowest figure in more than three weeks, bringing the death toll to 2,715.

All the new deaths were in the outbreak epicentre of Hubei province, which accounted for 401 of the 406 new infections reported on Wednesday, the National Health Commission said.

That brings the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 78,064.

The number of fresh cases has declined in China, with multiple provinces reporting zero new infections in recent days.

Only five cases were reported outside the epicentre, the lowest in over a month.

The daily number of newly cured and discharged coronavirus patients surpassed that of new infections for the eighth consecutive day, according to the National Health Commission.

Tuesday saw 2,422 people walk out of hospital after recovery, much higher than the number of new confirmed infections, which stood at 406, figures from the commission showed.

A total of 29,745 patients infected with the coronavirus had been discharged from hospital by the end of Tuesday, according to the commission.

But the disease, which originated in Hubei's capital Wuhan late last year and infected over 78,000 in China, has now reached dozens of countries.

South Korea's death toll rose to 11 on Wednesday, as the country's total number of infections rose to 1,146, by far the largest outside of China.

Italy - which has reported 10 deaths and more than 300 cases - has locked down 11 towns. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said the measures could last weeks.

While Beijing's containment efforts initially focused on monitoring and restricting travel within the country, concern is growing that cases abroad could reintroduce new outbreaks into China.

The authorities in the city of Nanjing quarantined 94 people on a flight arriving from Seoul on Tuesday, after three on the plane were found to have fever.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.