The updated death toll was announced by Zhou Xianwang, the mayor of Wuhan, in central China, in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV on Tuesday
The Chinese government announced also on Tuesday that it was classifying the outbreak in the same category as the outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which claimed the lives of about 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
The classification means compulsory isolation for those diagnosed with the disease and the potential to implement quarantine measures on travel.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet on Wednesday to consider declaring an international public health emergency as China confirmed the coronavirus spreads by human-to-human contact.
The virus has infected more than 200 people in China and spread to Japan, Thailand, and South Korea, with a total of four people having been hospitalized after visiting Wuhan, where a seafood market is believed to have been the epicenter of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, public broadcaster ABC reported Tuesday that a man in Australia had been put in isolation as he showed symptoms of the new disease after he traveled to Wuhan, adding that health officials were awaiting test results.
Tuesday 21 January 2020 18:23