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BEIJING: Over 2,000 people worldwide have been diagnosed with a new coronavirus, the huge majority of them in China, where 56 people have died from the outbreak, according to data released on Sunday.
President Xi Jinping said at the Politburo conference on Saturday that China was experiencing a “serious situation” while health officials around the world rushed to stop an outbreak.
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The outbreak, suspected to have emerged late last year in a seafood market in the Central Chinese city of Wuhan that illegally sold wildlife, has expanded to Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as to the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Australia, France and Canada.
This week, the World Health Organization started calling the disease a global health disaster, but some health experts are wondering whether China will manage to control the infection.
On Sunday, China reported 1,975 cases of patients contaminated with the new coronavirus as of January 25, while 56 cases of death from the virus were reported by the state media of China.
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The epidemic resulted in restrictions on travel inside China, with Wuhan, a city of 11 million, in virtual lockdown with all – but-separated transport links except for emergency vehicles.