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China coronavirus death toll reaches 259

Chinese authorities on Saturday announced that the death toll from the deadly novel coronavirus in the country has increased to 259, with 11,791 infected cases in 31 provincial-level regions.

The National Health Commission said that 1,795 patients remained in critical condition, and 17,988 people were suspected of being infected with the virus as of Friday night.

A total of 243 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery.

Friday saw 2,102 new confirmed cases, 5,019 new suspected cases, and 46 deaths — 45 in Hubei province and one in Chongqing municipality.

A total of 136,987 close contacts had been traced, the commission said, adding that among them, 6,509 were discharged on Friday, with 118,478 others still under observation.

By the end of Friday, 13 confirmed cases had been reported in Hong Kong, seven in Macao and 10 in Taiwan.

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