By Fuat Kabakci
ANKARA (AA) - At least 25 people have died from the outbreak of a new respiratory virus in China, its National Health Commission said early Friday.
The commission has recorded 830 confirmed cases nationwide since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by Chinese officials on Dec. 31 in Wuhan city, the capital of central China's Hubei Province.
Only the Tibet and Qinghai autonomous regions have not reported cases.
The commission said 177 infected people are reportedly in serious condition.
According to reports, 24 of those who died were living in Wuhan.
The virus has spread to major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, but the number of cases in Hubei alone has reached 444.
Health officials said the number of patients under observation has climbed to 8,420 and the number of those who are likely to carry the virus had risen to 1,072.
Authorities in Wuhan said the activities of all tourism agencies have been suspended.
It also announced that the opening dates of schools have been postponed.
The Ministry of Finance has allocated 1 billion yuan ($144 million) to combat the outbreak in Wuhan.
The virus is similar to the virus related to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
Airport and train stations in Wuhan were closed to outgoing passengers Thursday while public transportation was suspended in the city.
As of Wednesday, the virus had been detected in one person in Hong Kong and one in Macao.
The virus was also confirmed in the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.
*Writing by Fahri Aksut