China’s National Health Commission says the total number of confirmed deaths from the coronavirus in the country has risen by 38 to 170 as of end-Wednesday, as the number of infected patients rose by more than 1,700.
The commission said in a statement there were 7,711 confirmed cases as of the end of Wednesday, with an additional 12,167 suspected cases.
Almost all the deaths so far have been in the central province of Hubei, home to about 60 million people and now under virtual lockdown. The virus emerged last month in a live wild animal market in the provincial capital Wuhan.
Infections have been reported in at least 15 other nations, with 104 confirmed cases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said its Emergency Committee would reconvene behind closed doors on Thursday to decide whether the rapid spread of the new virus from China now constitutes a global emergency.