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Coronavirus: 17,000 confirmed cases, 361 deaths

China is struggling to deal with the virus, with more than 17,000 confirmed cases and 361 deaths.

China is set to open a new hospital in the city at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak, as the numbers of people infected continue to grow.

Wuhan’s 1,000-bed Huoshenshan Hospital, built in just eight days, is one of two dedicated facilities being constructed to help tackle the outbreak.

Sunday saw the first confirmed fatality outside China, in the Philippines.

The patient was a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan who appeared to have been infected before arriving in the Philippines.

Many countries have barred foreigners arriving from China and are quarantining their own citizens.

Latest figures from China’s National Health Commission on Monday revealed that, alongside the confirmed cases, there were:

  • 21,558 suspected cases
  • 152,700 people “under medical watch”
  • 475 people discharged from hospital

There have been more than 150 confirmed cases of the virus outside China.

Hospitals in the province of Hubei – where Wuhan is located – are reportedly overwhelmed and struggling to treat the growing number of patients.

Meanwhile, hospital workers in Hong Kong are preparing to go on strike from Monday unless the territory’s border with mainland China is completely closed.

The territory’s authorities have refused to do this, citing World Health Organization recommendations to introduce screening at borders rather than closing them.

The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has overtaken that of the similar Sars epidemic, which spread to more than two dozen countries in 2003.

But the mortality rate of the new virus is much lower, suggesting it is not as deadly.