By Abigail O’Leary |Mirror
The director of the hospital in China’s coronavirus epicentre has died from the disease himself.
Dr Liu Zhiming, director of Wuhan Wuchang Hospital, died today from the virus officially named COVID 19.
The coronavirus death toll in mainland China reached 1,770 on Sunday, up by 105 from the previous day, the country’s National Health Commission has said.
The number of new deaths in China’s central Hubei province from the coronavirus outbreak rose by 100 as of Sunday.
Across mainland China, there were 2,048 new confirmed infections on Sunday. The total accumulated number so far has reached 70,548.
The latest rise in the number of reported new cases of coronavirus in Hubei after two days of falls, comes as authorities imposed tough new restrictions on movement to prevent the spread of the disease.
The tighter lockdown on the central province where the flu-like virus originated in December came as American passengers were taken off a cruise liner on Sunday to fly home after being quarantined for two weeks off Japan.
Seventy new coronavirus cases were confirmed on board the Diamond Princess where 3,700 passengers and crew have been held since February 3.
Some 355 people on board have tested positive for the disease, by far the largest cluster of cases outside China.
Canadian, Italian, South Korean and Hong Kong passengers were expected to follow soon, after their governments also announced plans to repatriate passengers.
“Leaving in a few hours. No details. Might be going to Texas or Nebraska,” Gay Courter, one of the American passengers on board, told Reuters.
She said she expected to spend another two weeks in quarantine on U.S. soil.
In Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, health officials reported 1,933 new cases and 100 new deaths on February 16, the lowest daily death count since February 11.
The number of new cases rose nearly 5% from the previous day, but the number of deaths fell from 139.
Nearly 90% of the new cases were in the provincial capital of Wuhan, a city of 11 million people where the virus is believed to have originated at a market illegally trading wildlife.
Chinese health officials on Sunday said two days of falls in the number of new confirmed cases showed their efforts to halt the spread of the virus were bearing fruit.
“The effect of the coronavirus controls is appearing,” Mi Feng, spokesman for the Health Commission, told reporters.
We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates, pictures and video on this breaking news story. (MIRROR/MSN)