China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

Confirmed new coronavirus cases near 64,000 in China

A new coronavirus has taken a growing toll of Chinese health workers on the front line of the fight to stop it, a top official said on Friday, as authorities reported more than 5,000 new cases, including more than 120 deaths.

The nationwide toll rose to 1,380 on Friday, although 108 deaths in Hubei were removed from the tally after being double-counted.

But on Thursday, health authorities in Hubei, the province at the center of the epidemic, announced there had been nearly 15,000 new cases overnight - almost ten times the number of cases announced the previous day.

Another 14,840 people were confirmed to be infected in Hubei alone, with the new cases and deaths by far the biggest one-day increases since the crisis began.

The new figures for total infections gave no sign the outbreak was nearing a peak, said Adam Kamradt-Scott, an infectious diseases expert at the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney.

Some 55,748 people are now undergoing treatment, while 1,380 people have died of the flu-like virus that emerged in Hubei province's capital, Wuhan, in December.

Japan confirmed its first coronavirus death on Thursday - a woman in her 80s living in Kanagawa prefecture near Tokyo.

Yesterday Japan became the third place outside the Chinese mainland to report a death, after one each in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

More than two dozen countries have now reported hundreds of cases among them.

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"Based on the current trend in confirmed cases, this appears to be a clear indication that while the Chinese authorities are doing their best to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the fairly drastic measures they have implemented to date would appear to have been too little, too late", he said.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has ordered a lockdown on a community of 10,000 residents northwest of the capital Hanoi, becoming the first location outside of China to have ordered a quarantine for at least 20 days.

"The objective of the joint mission is that experts of both sides can have in-depth communication on the situation and efforts of prevention and control, and come up with advice for China and other affected countries", Geng said.

The online newspaper VN Express cited a senior official of Ving Phuc province as reporting an increase in cases in Son Loi commune.

In addition, there are now more than 200 cases on board the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess in Japan - the largest cluster outside China.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters five of the patients who were already sent to hospitals for isolation and treatment have severe symptoms and are on artificial respirators or under intensive care.

Another cruise ship, the Westerdam, finally docked in Cambodia after being turned away by several Asian and Pacific governments.

A team of health officials will board the ship to conduct health checks on the 1,455 passengers and 802 crew members before they will be allowed to disembark.

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