Coronavirus death toll now at 2345, new infections drop in many provinces.

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The total number of cases was 76288, the national health commission (NHC) officials said on Saturday, adding that the spread of novel coronavirus in Chinese mainland was showing signs of slowing down as 18 provincial-level regions reported zero new infections.

The death toll from the coronavirus (covid-19) outbreak continued to rise in China as it reached 2345 by the end of February 21.

The total number of cases was 76288, the national health commission (NHC) officials said on Saturday, adding that the spread of novel coronavirus in Chinese mainland was showing signs of slowing down as 18 provincial-level regions reported zero new infections.

“As of 24:00 on Friday, the daily new infections in regions outside of Hubei dropped to 31, the lowest in a month,” according he NHC said.

Many other regions, such as Tianjin, Chongqing, Beijing and Guangdong, reported single digit new infections, the NHC added.

The signs of the outbreak slowing down come in amid the new worry of cluster cases breaking out across the country: New infections were reported on Friday at congregated facilities, including prisons, hospitals and senior care homes.

On Friday, a prison in Rencheng, in each China’s Shandong province, reported 200 new cases of novel coronavirus infection.

Another 27 were reported in Shilifeng prison in Zhejiang province, also in eastern China.

The worst-hit central Chinese province of Hubei also reported that two prisons in the province saw 230 cases and 41 cases respectively.

:Shandong, Zhejiang and Hubei have punished those accountable. It is hoped that the punishments will strengthen the alarm bell these incidents have rung. Everyone must be clear that the virus is far from being defeated. It can break our line of defense at any time,” the tabloid.

“These transmission accidents in prisons serve as a stark reminder that institutions and venues where people gather must step up their vigilance. We must prevent any kind of formalism and make every preventive and control measure a real safety valve,” it added.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the WHO-led team of international experts currently in China to investigate the novel coronavirus outbreak will travel to China’s central city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, on Saturday.

At a daily briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the WHO-led joint mission in China has been working in Beijing, Sichuan and Guangdong, and will travel to Wuhan on Saturday to continue its work at the epicenter of the outbreak.

He added that WHO is also working with partners to safeguard the health of the members of the team, and to take appropriate measures when they return to their countries of origin.