China confirms spread of new virus

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Chinese authorities have on Monday, confirmed the outbreak of a new coronavirus that has spread to more cities, tripling the number of patients.

The Daxing health commission in Beijing said it had confirmed two cases of coronavirus, while the southern Guangdong province’s health commission confirmed one case in Shenzhen. They mark the first cases in China beyond the central city of Wuhan where the virus first emerged.

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said 136 new cases of pneumonia caused by the coronavirus strain had been found in the city over the weekend, adding to 62 already known cases. A third death occurred on Saturday, the authority said in a statement.

This brings the total number of known cases worldwide to more than 200, underscoring the challenge for health authorities seeking to contain the outbreak. South Korea on Monday reported its first confirmed case of the coronavirus, a 35-year-old female Chinese national who had traveled from Wuhan, the fourth patient to be reported outside China.

Hundreds of millions of Chinese tourists will be traveling domestically and abroad during the Lunar New Year holiday period that starts later this week.

A report by London Imperial College’s MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis estimated that by Jan. 12 there were 1,723 cases in Wuhan City with the onset of related symptoms. Chinese health authorities have not commented directly on the report.