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China virus deaths exceed 900; 40,000 confirmed cases in China alone

Residents wear surgical masks while crossing the road in order to prevent the spread of the Wuhan corona virus on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020 in Hong Kong. (Geovien So/SOPA Images/Zuma Press/TNS)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The number of deaths on mainland China from a new coronavirus originating there increased to 908, authorities announced on February 10.

Ninety-seven new fatalities on February 9 were reported across the country, including 91 in Hubei province where the pathogen first emerged in December, the National Health Commission reported.

There are now 40,171 confirmed cases nationwide even as the World Health Organization (WHO) said the epidemic appears to be stabilizing.

Outside of China, 24 countries have more than 300 confirmed cases of the respiratory virus, including one death, according to a daily WHO situation report.

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China has come under public criticism for how it initially handled the epidemic, especially after a whistle-blowing doctor fell victim to the virus.

The doctor, 34, died on February 7 after contracting the virus from a patient.

The government has implemented quarantine measures and placed whole cities on lockdowns to help prevent the spread of the infection.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian national was removed from a cruise ship on February 9 after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The infected Ukrainian was taken off the quarantined Diamond Princess liner off the west coast of Japan and admitted to a local hospital in the country, according to the Ukrainian Health Ministry.

He is being kept in an isolated room for at least 14 days. There were a total of 25 Ukrainians on board the liner.

TBS TV reported that 130 aboard the ship have tested positive, with all passengers told to stay inside their cabins to prevent further infection.