China reports 28 COVID-19 deaths, rise in new infections originating from abroad

BEIJING: China on Saturday (Mar 7) reported 28 new deaths from the coronavirus outbreak, bringing the nationwide toll to 3,070.

The central province of Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 28 new deaths. In the provincial capital of Wuhan, 21 people died.

Mainland China had 99 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on Friday, the country’s National Health Commission (NHC) said on Saturday, down from 143 cases a day earlier and marking the lowest number since Jan 20, when the NHC started to publish nationwide figures.

About a quarter of China’s new confirmed cases and almost all of those outside Wuhan originated outside the country on Friday, according to official data.

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Outside of central China’s Hubei province, there were 25 new confirmed cases reported on Mar 6, of which 24 came from outside China.

Most of these were in China’s northwestern Gansu province, from quarantined passengers who entered the provincial capital of Lanzhou on commercial flights from Iran between Mar 2 and Mar 5.

The capital Beijing reported four new cases on Friday, of which three came from Italy, according to a notice from the Beijing health commission posted on its official Weibo account on Saturday.

There were also three cases in Shanghai that originated abroad, and one in Guangdong province on Friday, according to the National Health Commission.

The total nationwide number of cases that originated outside China reached 60 as of the end of Friday.

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For the second day in a row, there were no new infections in Hubei outside of the provincial capital of Wuhan.

That brings the total accumulated number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 80,651.

New infections reported from Hubei have been on a downward trend for several weeks and at 74, the number of new cases is the lowest since quarantine measures were placed on the province in late January.

The number of coronavirus cases worldwide surged past 100,000 on Friday, as a wave of countries reported their first cases.

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