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Coronavirus toll in China reaches 41, 1,287 infected

444 fresh cases were reported since Friday, with 237 patients in serious conditions

Beijing, Jan 25 (UITV/IANS)- The death toll due to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China has soared to 41, while the number of infected persons were 1,287, the National Health Commission said on Saturday.

The Commission said that 444 fresh cases were reported since Friday, with 237 patients in serious conditions, while 38 had been cured and discharged from hospitals, reports Efe news.

Health authorities have carried out check-ups on 15,197 people who have come into close contact with the infected persons. Nearly 14,000 of them continue to be monitored for symptoms.

The others cases outside of China were reported in France (two), Australia (one), Thailand (four including two cured), Japan (two including one cured), South Korea (two), the US (two), Vietnam (two), Singapore (three), Nepal (one), Hong Kong (five), Macao (two) and Taiwan (three).

The symptoms of the new coronavirus, provisionally designated by the World Health Organization as 2019-nCoV, are similar to those of cold but may be accompanied by fever and fatigue, dry cough and dyspnea (shortness of breath).

The WHO has so far to declared the outbreak as an international health emergency.

Strict measures were being carried out in China, which include complete suspension of transport in around a dozen cities in Hubei province and also cancelling Chinese New Year celebrations.

Traditional events at Lama Temple and Ditan Park in Beijing were cancelled due to the risk of spreading the virus, authorities reported Friday, while the famous Forbidden City has also been closed indefinitely.

Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, where the virus was first reported, has been on lockdown since Thursday to prevent further spread of the virus and the city's authorities have begun to build a "special hospital" with 1,000 beds for infected patients.

"Construction of the special hospital with a capacity of 1,000 beds for patients with #nCoV2019 has begun in Wuhan," official China Daily said on Twitter.

The hospital in Wuhan will be based on the model of a similar facility that was built in just seven days in Beijing to deal with SARS in 2003.