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Coronavirus: Death toll climbs to 106 in China, 24 deaths in Hubei province overnight

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Beijing, Jan 27: China continued to reel under deadly coronavirus epidemic on Tuesday with the death toll shot up to 106 in China with 24 new deaths reported from the central Chinese province of Hubei overnight.

Beijing authorities reported the Chinese capital's first death from a new deadly virus that has rapidly spread across the country, killing more than 80 people and causing global alarm.

Coronavirus: Death toll climbs to 106 in China, 24 deaths in Hubei province overnight

The victim was a 50-year-old man who had visited the central city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, on January 8 and developed a fever after returning to Beijing seven days later, the city's health commission said.

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He went to a hospital on January 21 and died on Monday of respiratory failure, the commission said.

A total of 80 of more than 2,700 cases have been recorded in the Chinese capital of 20 million people. The authorities have enacted sweeping travel restrictions across the country in a desperate bid to stop the virus from spreading further.

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    Transport bans have been enacted in Wuhan and other cities in central Hubei province, effectively corralling some 56 million people. Beijing has halted long-distance bus service to and from the city.

    The Health Commission also termed the condition of the 461 people being treated for the virus, officially known as 2019-nCoV, as "critical".

    A total of 32,799 close contacts have been traced, the commission said, adding 30,453 among them were currently under medical observation while 583 others were discharged on Sunday. Almost all provinces in China except Tibet have reported the virus cases.

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    The mayor of the Hubei province capital Wuhan, which has emerged as the epicentre of the epidemic outbreak, said he expects another 1,000 new patients in the city, official media reported.

    To curb the epidemic, China has decided to adopt a host of measures including delaying and reducing conferences and major events, extending the current Spring Festival holidays and supporting online work.

    To reduce population flows, the meeting decided on measures such as extending the Spring Festival holiday, which is scheduled between Jan 24 and 30 and delaying the start of the spring semester at colleges and schools. It called for maximum efforts to reduce the mortality rate of patients and enhance their treatment.

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    More research will be conducted on cured patients and treatment measures will be further refined, with more training programmes scheduled for medical workers, an official statement said.

    The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday said researchers have isolated viruses and were selecting a strain, Xu Wenbo, a director of CDC's virus institute said.

    Xu told media that researchers had used high-throughput genetic sequencing to identify pathogens one day after the first four samples were sent from Wuhan on January 2.

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