By Fuat Kabakci
BEIJING (AA) - The death toll in China from the novel coronavirus outbreak has climbed to 41, local media reported on Saturday.
“The pneumonia situation had resulted in 41 deaths, including 39 in central China's Hubei Province, one in north China's Hebei Province and one in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province,” Xinhua news agency reported, citing China’s National Health Commission.
According to the commission, there were a total of 1,287 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), including 237 in critical conditions.
The symptoms of the mystery virus resemble those of pneumonia causing a massive outcry in China as the country prepares to hold New Year celebrations on Saturday.
“A total of 1,965 suspected cases had also been reported,” Xinhua said, adding a total of 38 people had been discharged from hospitals.
“During the 24 hours of Friday, 444 new confirmed cases and 1,118 new suspected cases were reported while 16 people died of the disease,” the agency added.
The commission said a total of 15,197 close contacts have been traced, 13,967 of them are under medical observation and 1,230 others were discharged.
“In addition, ten confirmed cases had been reported in Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan, with five in Hong Kong, two in Macao and three in Taiwan,” according to the news agency.
The virus originated in Wuhan city -- the capital of Hubei -- and has now spread across 29 provinces in the country. Over 10 cases were reported in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, France and Vietnam.