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Coronavirus: Toll rises to 425, Hong Kong reports first fatality

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Beijing, Feb 04: The death toll in China, from the outbreak of coronavirus rose on Tuesday by a new daily record to more than 425, with the total number of cases now standing at 20,438, officials said on Tuesday. The new figures come after the country opened a new hospital built in 10 days. There were at least 151 cases in 23 other countries and regions, including the United States, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and Britain.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong reported its first coronavirus death on Tuesday, a 39-year-old male who had been suffering from an underlying illness and had visited China's Wuhan city in January.

Coronavirus: Toll rises to 425, Hong Kong reports first fatality

The first death outside of China was reported on Sunday - a 44-year-old Chinese man who died in the Philippines after travelling there from Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus.

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In the province at the epicentre of the outbreak, a specialised 1,000-bed hospital started treating patients and a second hospital with 1,500 beds is to open within days. Other countries continued evacuating citizens from hardest-hit Hubei province and restricted the entry of Chinese or people who recently travelled to the country.

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    The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the number of cases will keep growing because tests are pending on thousands of suspected cases.

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    Chinese President Xi Jinping, presiding over a special meeting of the country's top Communist Party body for the second time since the crisis started, said, "we have launched a people's war of prevention of the epidemic."

    He told the Politburo standing committee that the country must race against time to curb the spread of the virus and that those who neglect their duties will be punished, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

    with PTI inputs

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