The number of confirmed infections in China's coronavirus outbreak has reached 24,324 nationwide with 3,887 new cases reported, the National Health Commission said on Wednesday.
In its daily update, the commission said there had been 65 new deaths from the virus – bringing the mainland toll to 490.
In a sign of growing concern about a spread to other densely-populated Chinese metropolitan areas, authorities in three more cities, including one near Shanghai, imposed drastic restrictions on movement.
Parts of Hangzhou – including the area where the main office of Chinese tech giant Alibaba is based – now allow only one person per household to go outside every two days to buy necessities, affecting some three million people.
The city is only 175 kilometres from Shanghai, which has reported more than 200 cases, including one death.
The disease is believed to have emerged in December in a Wuhan market that sold wild animals, and spread rapidly as people travelled for the Lunar New Year holiday in January.
China has struggled to contain the virus despite unprecedented measures, including virtually locking down more than 50 million people in Hubei province.
Health officials noted that the mortality rate for the new coronavirus stood at 2.1 percent, with most victims either old or with underlying health problems.
The 2003 Sars killed nearly 10 percent of patients.
In London, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab overnight on Tuesday advised Britons to leave China, "if they can", to minimise their risk of exposure to the virus.
The United States, meanwhile, acknowledged that the outbreak may delay Beijing's plans to purchase American goods under the terms of a deal meant to end the two countries' trade war. (AFP)
Last updated: 2020-02-05 HKT 10:35
China says 24,324 infected with coronavirus
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