Coronavirus death toll jumps to 106, nearly 1,300 new cases in China

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The death toll from a coronavirus outbreak in China has soared to 106 while nearly 1,300 new cases have been confirmed, authorities said on Tuesday (Jan 28).

The health commission in central Hubei province, the epicentre of the epidemic, said 24 more people had died from the virus and 1,291 more people were infected, raising the total number of confirmed cases to at least 4,193 nationwide.

China’s National Immigration Administration encouraged citizens to reconsider the timing of overseas travel to reduce cross-border movement to help contain the new coronavirus, it said in a statement published on its official WeChat account on Tuesday.

China also postponed the start of the spring semester for schools and universities across the country.

Students are currently on holiday for the Lunar New Year and the education ministry did not provide a date for teaching to resume.

But a statement from the ministry said teaching institutions would reopen on a case-by-case basis.

School administrators had been instructed to “require students not to go out, not to gather, and not to hold or participate in centralised activities”, the statement added.

Meanwhile, the director-general of the World Health Organisation is visiting Beijing to assess China’s response to the deadly coronavirus.

Mr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s trip follows a visit on Monday by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Wuhan.

Global efforts to curb the spread of the disease have intensified. Companies including Honda Motor Co. are evacuating workers from areas of China hardest hit by the outbreak.

The US said citizens should reconsider travel to China, while Hong Kong announced the temporary closing of all sports and cultural facilities starting Wednesday.

Asian stocks retreated again on Tuesday as concern over the economic and human impact of China’s deadly coronavirus rattled global markets.

Treasury yields and the yuan steadied after Monday’s declines. Japanese shares slid, with deeper losses in South Korea and Australia as those markets reopened after holidays. The yen fluctuated as new figures showed the death toll in China from the virus had increased.

Chinese and Hong Kong markets remain closed. US futures saw modest gains after the S&P 500 Index fell the most in almost four months.