The death toll from coronavirus in mainland China surged by 73 to 563 Thursday, its third consecutive record daily increase, as experts increased efforts to develop a vaccine for a disease that has put Chinese cities on lockdown and forced thousands more into quarantine around the globe.
Wuhan reported 70 new deaths Wednesday and 2,987 new confirmed cases – over 80% of the total reported by the Chinese government. The other fatalities had been in Tianjin city, the northeastern region of Heilongjiang, and Guizhou province in the southwest.
Wuhan in central China has been in virtual lockdown for nearly two weeks, with its train stations and airports closed and its roads sealed off. The flu-like virus was first recognized in Wuhan and is believed to have originated at a seafood market in the city.
There have been two deaths outside mainland China – in the Philippines and Hong Kong – each involving people who had traveled to Wuhan.
Hundreds of foreigners have been removed from Wuhan and placed in quarantine facilities around the globe, and thousands of passengers and crew had been in lockdown on two cruise ships in Asian oceans.
Ten more people on a ship in the Japanese port of Yokohama, south of Tokyo, screened positive for the coronavirus, the Japanese health ministry stated.
Nearly 3,700 people are dealing with at least two weeks quarantined on the ship after an 80-year-old Hong Kong man who traveled on it late last month screened positive.
In Hong Kong, 3,600 passengers and crew had been restrained to their ship docked in the city for tests after three people on board had tested positive earlier.