As coronavirus death toll rises over 635, President Xi says China starting 'people's war'

WION Web Team Beijing Feb 07, 2020, 07.29 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The country's National Health Commission said 73 new deaths were reported in the country.

The death toll in China's coronavirus continued to rise on Friday with authorities reporting at least 636 deaths with infections rising past 31,000.

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The authorities confirmed 3,143 new cases of infection as the virus continued to spread nationwide with Hubei province which is considered the epicentre of the virus being the hardest-hit.

The country's National Health Commission said 73 new deaths were reported in the country.

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Meanwhile, Japan's health minister said Another 41 people onboard a cruise ship off Japan's coast have tested positive for coronavirus after authorities tested 273 people on board the Diamond Princess.

"The results of the remaining 171 tests came out and 41 tested positive," Japan's health minister Katsunobu Kato said.

"Today they will be sent to hospitals in several prefectures, and we are now preparing for that."

"In total, out of 273 specimens, 61 tested positive," he added.

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In Hong Kong, another cruise ship with 3,600 passengers and crew have been quarantined for a second day pending testing as Taiwan which has reported at least 13 cases banned international cruise ships from docking.

As the virus spread, China's  Xinhua news agency quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping conversation with Saudi Arabia's King Salman in a telephone call saying: "The whole country has responded with all its strength to respond with the most thorough and strict prevention and control measures, starting a people's war for epidemic prevention and control."

US President Donald Trump expressed "confidence" in China's ability to tackle the coronavirus epidemic during talks with President Xi Jinping, the White House said.