Wuhan: China on Monday extended its biggest national holiday to buy time in the fight against a viral epidemic and neighbouring Mongolia closed its border, after the death toll spiked to 81 despite unprecedented quarantine measures.
In a sign of the mounting official concern, Premier Li Keqiang visited ground-zero to oversee containment efforts in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people where the coronavirus emerged late last month.
The government has sealed off Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province, effectively trapping tens of millions of people, including thousands of foreigners, in a bid to quarantine the virus that struck amid the Lunar New Year holiday.
Twenty-four new deaths were confirmed in Hubei on Monday, and the southern island province of Hainan reported its first fatality, bringing the nationwide toll to 81, as confirmed infections swelled to more than 2,700.
The youngest infected patient was a nine-month-old baby being treated in Beijing.
Thousands more patients with flu-like symptoms were being monitored, suspected of contracting the pathogen.d....