The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China has risen anew to 636, according to the country’s National Health Commission on Friday.
Out of the total 73 new deaths reported, 69 cases were reported from Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, including 64 in the provincial capital Wuhan.
There had been a further 3,143 cases detected across the country, pushing the total number of infections up to 31,161.
The virus has killed two people outside mainland China, one in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines. At least 25 countries have confirmed cases.
The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, asked for $675m to help countries address the expected spread of the virus.
China launches probe after whistleblower doctor dies
China’s anti-graft watchdog announced an investigation after the death of a whistleblowing doctor sparked anger over the government’s handling of the coronavirus emergency.
The discipline inspection commission said a team would go to Wuhan, where doctor Li Wenliang died, to “conduct a comprehensive investigation into issues involving Dr. Li Wenliang reported by the masses”.
Li, 34, died early Friday, Wuhan Central Hospital said in a post on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform.
China’s Xi tells Trump no effort spared in coronavirus fight
The Chinese government has spared no effort in its fight to contain the coronavirus outbreak, having taken the most comprehensive and stringent prevention and containment measures, President Xi Jinping told US President Donald Trump.
In its battle against the coronavirus, China is gradually achieving results, Xi told his US counterpart on a phone call on Friday morning, according to state television.
China is fully confident and capable of defeating the epidemic, and the long-term trend of the country’s economic development will not change, Xi said.
Japan finds 41 more cases on cruise ship
Japan on Friday reported 41 new cases of a virus on a cruise ship that’s been quarantined in Yokohama harbour.
Before Friday’s 41 confirmed cases, 20 passengers who were found infected with the virus were escorted off the Diamond Princess at Yokohama near Tokyo. About 3,700 people have been confined aboard the ship.
Two docked cruise ships with thousands of passengers and crew members remained under 14-day quarantines in Japan and Hong Kong.
Doctor who ‘sounded alarm’ over outbreak dies of virus, report says
Global Times, a tabloid run by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said Li Wenliang an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital and among the first doctors to reportedly warn about the coronavirus outbreak, died of the virus in Wuhan.