Shanghai govt reports city's first death from China virus, Over 40 cases confirmed

SHANGHAI: China's deadly viral contagion  killed one person in Shanghai, the city's government said on Sunday (Jan 26), the first reported death in the country's financial hub.

The victim was an 88-year-old man who was already suffering from pre-existing health problems, a Shanghai government statement said, adding that so far 40 cases of infection have been confirmed in the city.

The number of confirmed deaths from a viral outbreak in China has surpassed over 105, with authorities in hard-hit Hubei province on Sunday reporting 13 more fatalities and 323 new cases.

The latest numbers from Hubei, the epicentre of the contagion, would put the nationwide total of confirmed infections up 4,510, based on figures previously released by the central government.

President Xi Jinping warned last week that China faced a "grave situation" as authorities raced to contain a respiratory illness that has caused the widespread abandonment of Chinese New Year celebrations nationwide and overwhelmed health facilities in Hubei.

The contagion remained centred on the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan, which accounted for seven of the new deaths and 46 of the new confirmed cases, said the Hubei Health Commission.

More than 10 cities in Hubei province have already been shut down, and local residents in neighbouring Hunan - the home province of Mao Zedong - said they were resigned to the possibility that they would also be sealed off in the next few days.

Hundreds of military doctors have been sent to Hubei and authorities are rushing to build a pair of field hospitals to deal with the crisis as patients swamp local medical facilities.

The virus has spread nationwide in China and cases have been reported in several other countries as far away as the United States, France, Australia and parts of Southeast Asia, including Singapore and Malaysia.


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