The official Chinese death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose on Friday to 636, with the government saying total infections had climbed past 30,000. The toll was raised by 73 new deaths from the epidemic, the National Health Commission said in its daily update.
Another 3,143 new cases of infection were confirmed, bringing total infections in the country thus far to 31,161, it said.
The central province of Hubei where the virus originated continued to be hardest-hit, accounting for 69 of the new deaths reported in the 24 hours to Friday. Of the reported infections, more than 4,800 of those people were in serious condition.
Chinese authorities are still struggling to contain the outbreak despite ordering millions of people indoors in a growing number of cities, with overwhelmed hospitals struggling to treat the surging numbers of ill.
The contagion emerged in the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan in December, later spreading to the rest of China and more than two dozen other countries, prompting the World Health Organization to declare a global emergency.
The number of confirmed infections in China could still grow significantly, with the health commission saying that more than 26,000 other people were suspected of having contracted the virus.
In related news Toyota Motor Corp on Friday said production at all of its plants in China would remain suspended through Feb. 16, joining a growing number of automakers facing output stoppages due to supply chain issues as the coronavirus outbreak spreads.
The Japanese automaker, which operates 12 vehicle and vehicle components factories in China, said it would extend its production stoppage after considering various factors, including guidelines from local and region governments, parts supply, and logistics.
The decision extends Toyota's initial plans to suspend operations through Sunday, and comes as the threat from the coronavirus crisis closes in on the global auto industry.
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