Wuhan: The number of deaths from China’s new coronavirus epidemic jumped to 717 on Saturday, surpassing the toll from the SARS outbreak on the mainland and Hong Kong almost two decades ago.
Another 81 people died from the virus in central Hubei province, where the disease emerged in December, according to the regional health commission.
In its daily update, the commission also confirmed another 2,841 new cases. There are now more than 34,000 confirmed infections across the country.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a disease in the same family as the new coronavirus, left nearly 650 people dead in mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.
China has struggled to contain the current virus despite having placed some 56 million people under effective lockdown in Hubei and its provincial capital, Wuhan.
Other cities far from the epicenter have also taken measures to keep people indoors, limiting the number of individuals who can leave their home.