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The number of confirmed deaths from China’s coronavirus outbreak rose to at least 490, after authorities in ground-zero Hubei province reported 65 new fatalities. (AFP)

BEIJING: The number of confirmed deaths from China’s coronavirus outbreak rose to at least 490, after authorities in ground-zero Hubei province reported 65 new fatalities.

In its daily update, figures from the health commission in Hubei, which has been hit hardest by the virus, also showed a jump in confirmed infections with 3,156 new cases.

That puts the national total at more than 23,500, based on numbers previously issued by the central government.

The epidemic, which has spiralled into a global health emergency, is believed to have emerged in December from a market that sold wild game in Hubei’s capital Wuhan.

Cases have now been reported in more than 20 countries.

Highlighting the concern about infections spreading in other densely-populated Chinese metropolitan areas, authorities in three cities in eastern Zhejiang province – including one near Shanghai – placed restrictions on the number of people allowed to leave their homes.

Yesterday, Hong Kong reported its first death from the disease, as the semi-autonomous city closed all but two land crossings with the Chinese mainland.

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