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China, Japan report rise in coronavirus infections

The number of people infected with the new coronavirus has reached 44,653 in China, while Japan reported 174 cases, the largest number of infections outside China, health authorities said Wednesday.

Ninety-seven deaths and 2,015 new infections were reported over a 24-hour interval in mainland China, according to the country’s National Health Commission.

The total death toll in China climbed to 1,113. Two other patients have died in the Philippines and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Japan’s health ministry confirmed 39 more people on a cruise ship off Yokohama have tested positive for the virus.

The Diamond Princess, operated by Carnival cruises, has been quarantined for a week with thousands of passengers on board.

The confirmed coronavirus patients have been removed and taken to hospital.

The ministry said one quarantine officer has also been infected with the virus.

Meanwhile in Malaysia, the World Health Organization (WHO) director for the Western Pacific warned of coronavirus “clusters with no apparent link to China.”

Takeshi Kasai specifically cited local transmissions and said all countries in the region should “prepare for the possibility of wider transmission” of the virus, in a statement released by the WHO.

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Malaysia has reported 18 cases of the virus, while neighbouring Singapore’s tally is 47, over half of which are local transmissions.

The WHO officially named the new disease Covid-19 on Tuesday, as countries continued to impose travel restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus.

An expert commission named the virus Sars-CoV-2.

The virus broke out in December at a seafood market in Wuhan, central China, which reportedly sold exotic animals for consumption.(NAN)

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