The death toll in the outbreak of a new coronavirus in China has risen to 56 state media said on Sunday, as the country stepped up efforts to contain the infection and President Xi Jinping warned the country was facing a “grave situation”.

The number of people infected rose to 1,975, as of January 25.

Officials in Hubei reported 13 deaths and 323 new cases of the respiratory illness.

qatar airways

The virus remains centred on Hubei’s provincial capital of Wuhan, home to 11 million people, which accounted for seven of the new deaths and 46 of the new confirmed cases, the Hubei Health Commission said.


Separately, the province of Henan, which borders Hubei in the north reported one death and the city of Shanghai reported its first death from the disease.

China has stepped up travel restrictions, in effect sealing off Wuhan and more than a dozen other cities, curbing the movement of some 56 million people amid fears that the transmission rate will accelerate over the peak Lunar New Year travel season.

Health authorities around the world have stepped up screening at airports and other entry and exit points in an attempt to prevent a global pandemic as the virus continues to spread, with cases reported in Australia, France, the United States and seven countries in the Asia Pacific beyond China.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged that the respiratory illness, which has been traced to the city of Wuhan, is an emergency in China but the organisation on Thursday said it was too early to declare it a global health emergency.

Here are the latest updates:

Sunday, January 26

Tianjin to suspend long-distance bus services

The northeastern city of Tianjin will halt long-distance bus services from Monday, authorities said.

Officials from the city of about 15 million people announced the move on their official Weibo account, a day after Beijing announced a similar measure.

Death toll rises to 56; Shanghai reports first death

Shanghai reported its first death from the new coronavirus as state media reported the death toll rose to 56 on January 25.

The number of people infected was 1,975.

China virus
People wear masks as they walk along the Bund in Shanghai on Saturday, The city has reported its first death from the infection [Aly Song/Reuters]

Canada identifies first case of coronavirus

Canada on Saturday declared the first “presumptive” confirmed case of the coronavirus in a resident who returned last week from Wuhan.

Ontario health officials told a news conference the patient is a man in his 50s, who arrived in Toronto on January 22 and was hospitalised the next day after developing symptoms of respiratory illness.

Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s associate chief medical officer of health, told reporters that the man is being treated in a public hospital and is in a stable condition.

Death toll rises to 54

The number of deaths from the viral outbreak rose to 54 on Sunday morning, with authorities in hard-hit Hubei province reporting 13 new fatalities and 323 new confirmed cases.

The latest numbers from Hubei, the epicentre of the contagion, would put the nationwide total of confirmed infections at 1,610, based on figures previously released by the central government.

Read updates from Saturday, January 25 here.

Wuhan coronavirus: A new pandemic?


Wuhan coronavirus: A new pandemic?