China virus death toll jumps to 106, nearly 1,300 new cases: govt
Security officials in face masks march in formation near Tiananmen Gate in Beijing. The death toll in the outbreak of a new coronavirus has now risen to at least 106. [Mark Schiefelbein/AP Photo]
The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in China has soared to 106 on Tuesday with nearly 1,300 new cases confirmed authorities said, as the infection that emerged in the central province of Hubei late last year continues to spread.
The health commission in Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak, said 24 more people had died from the virus and 1,291 more people had been infected, raising the total number of confirmed cases to more than 4,000 nationwide.
The Chinese government has sealed off entire cities in Hubei, isolating some 50 million people in a sweeping attempt to curb the disease. Long-distance buses and some public transport networks have also been shut down elsewhere in the country.
The US Consulate in Wuhan, the city at the centre of the outbreak, was preparing to fly its diplomats and some other Americans out of the country.
Japan, Mongolia, France and other governments are also preparing evacuations.
China has extended the Lunar New Year holiday until Sunday, and on Tuesday said it would postpone the start of the next semester for schools and universities across the country.
The education ministry did not provide a date for teaching to resume.
But a statement from the ministry said teaching institutions would reopen on a case-by-case basis.
School administrators had been instructed to “require students not to go out, not to gather, and not to hold or participate in centralised activities”, the statement added.