Additionally, health officials said 2,345 of the new infections were in Hubei, bringing the total in the hard-hit province to 13,522. Hubei’s death toll also rose to 414, with a further 64 fatalities reported in the province that has been in lockdown for weeks.
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Meanwhile, state media said a new hospital had been constructed in Hubei in just 10 days and had already started treating patients in the epicenter of the crisis. The specialized 1,000-bed medical facility will be joined by a second hospital with 1,500 beds in a matter of days.
WHO raise alarm
The epidemic, which has led the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a global health emergency, is believed to have begun in December in Hubei’s capital city of Wuhan at a market that sold wild game. Wuhan and other cities in the Hubei province have been on lockdown for nearly two weeks as Chinese officials have attempted to contain the spread of the virus.
The virus has gone global, with infections reported in more than 20 countries. Germany reported its 12th case late Monday evening while the US reported its second case of person-to-person transmission.
The first occurred outside of China occured in the Philippines.
First death in Hong Kong
On Tuesday Hong Kong also announced a coronavirus death, bringing the total fatalities outside of mainland China to two. The victim was a 39-year-old man who had visited Wuhan in January.
At midnight on Tuesday, Hong Kong closed all but two of its land and sea borders with mainland China. Hundreds of medical workers went on strike the day before to demand that all the city’s entrypoints to the mainland be closed.
The special administrative region that abuts southern China was severely affected by the SARS outbreak of 2002-03. SARS and the coronavirus come from the same family of viruses.
The government of Japan also quarantined a cruise ship on Tuesday and began testing all its 3,500 passengers for the coronavirus after the infection was confirmed in a Hong Kong man who had sailed on the vessel last month. The ship had arrived in the eastern port of Yokohama on Monday.
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