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Coronavirus

China reports 648 new cases of coronavirus, but infections outside Hubei falling

People wear masks at a main shopping area as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus in downtown Shanghai, China on Feb. 21.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI/BEIJING, Feb 23 (Reuters) - China on Sunday reported a rise in the number of new confirmed cases of coronavirus, but the number of fresh infections and deaths outside of the epicentre of central Hubei province continued to fall.

Nationwide, the number of new cases rose to 648 as of Saturday, from 397, the previous day, National Health Commission said.

That brought the total number of confirmed cases in China to 76,936.

The number of new cases outside of Hubei stood at 18, the lowest since the commission started publishing nationwide data a month ago.

The nationwide death toll rose by 97 to 2,442, but only one new death was outside of Hubei.

Of the 96 deaths in Hubei, 82 were in the provincial capital, Wuhan, which has been locked down for several weeks in an atempt to to prevent the spread of the virus.

The number of new cases in Hubei on Saturday rose to 630, reversing five straight days of declines, driven by a spike in new cases in Wuhan.

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