China’s Hubei province reports 69 new coronavirus deaths

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The number of deaths in China’s central Hubei province from a coronavirus outbreak had risen by 69 to 618 as of Thursday, Chinese state television reported on Friday.

There had been a further 2,447 cases detected in Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak, taking the total in the province to 22,112.

In a related development, a Chinese doctor who got in trouble with authorities in the communist country for sounding an early warning about the coronavirus outbreak died Friday after coming down with the illness.

The Wuhan Central Hospital said on its social media account that Dr. Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old ophthalmologist, was “unfortunately infected during the fight against the pneumonia epidemic of the new coronavirus infection.”

The viral outbreak that began in Hubei has infected more than 28,200 people globally, according to the latest figures reported by health authorities as of Thursday in Beijing.

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