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Number of novel coronavirus cases in China tops 570

No new deaths from the virus have been reported so far

BEIJING, January 23. /TASS/. The number of people diagnosed with novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV in China has topped 570, the National Health Commission said on Thursday.

No new deaths from the virus have been reported so far.

Earlier on Thursday, the Renmin Ribao newspaper said, citing official statistics, that 554 patients in 27 regions of the country have been diagnosed with the illness.

Previous reports said the virus has been confirmed in 473 people, 17 of them died.

According to the statistics, 444 cases have been reported in the Hubei province, whose administrative center Wuhan served as the starting point for the current outbreak. In the past hours, the first case of the disease was reported in the Heilongjiang province, bordering Russia. The number of infected persons in the capital Beijing has grown by four, to 14 in total.

The Chinese government has introduced enhanced disease control measures to prevent the starting outbreak and has been in active contact with the World Health Organization, Russia and other nations. According to the authorities, the effort against the coronavirus has entered the "critical stage."

According to experts, the latent stage of the viral infection lasts for two weeks. The disease is transmitted predominantly via the respiratory route. However, wild animals are believed to be the original source of the infection.

The disease has already crossed borders with sporadic cases registered in Thailand (three cases), South Korea (one), the United States (one) and Japan (one). Novel coronavirus is suspected in patients in Singapore and the Philippines, but it is yet to be confirmed.

Olympic boxing qualifier cancelled

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee’s press service said the first qualifying event for boxing at Tokyo 2020, due to be held in Wuhan next month, had been cancelled due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

"The IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) noted today's decision of the Local Organizing Committee to cancel the Asian/Oceanian Tokyo 2020 boxing qualifying event which was due to take place in Wuhan (CHN) from 3-14 February 2020, amid growing concerns in relation to the coronavirus outbreak reported in the city," the BTF said in a statement.

"The Task Force continues to work closely with the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) and all partners to explore alternatives and will immediately National Olympic Committees, National Federations and officials on any development," the statement reads.

Novel coronavirus

On December 31, 2019, the Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of earlier unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan in central China. On January 7, Chinese specialists denoted the virus causing the disease as coronavirus 2019-nCoV. All cases of the suspected pneumonia were lab tested. As a result, infecting agents of such diseases as flu, bird flu, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) were excluded from the list of possible pathogens.

The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines reveal that contracting the coronavirus is accompanied by the following symptoms - cold, cough, sore throat and chest congestion. Patients can also experience headaches and fever that can last up to a few days. People with low immune system, children and seniors are the high-risk group. They exhibit symptoms similar to those of pneumonia and bronchitis.