China says coronavirus cases rise to 440, with nine deaths
The Jinyintan hospital in Wuhan where the patients with pneumonia caused by the new strain of coronavirus are being treated. There are now known to be 440 people across 13 provinces with the infection [Stringer/Reuters]
China‘s National Health Commission said on Wednesday that nine people had died from a new coronavirus and 440 people across 13 Chinese provinces had been confirmed to be infected amid evidence of respiratory transmission from patient to patient.
The number of cases is greater than the total of more than 300 reported earlier on Tuesday.
Li Bin, vice minister of the commission, also told a media briefing that live animals were not allowed to enter Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the outbreak is thought to have originated in a seafood market that also sold exotic meats.
The announcement came as the United States and Taiwan confirmed their first cases of the virus and airports around the world stepped up medical screening of travellers from affected areas.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies