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Beijing, February 16, 2020
China today reported 142 more deaths due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), taking the toll in the epidemic that has hit the country to 1,665 so far.
Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, quoted the country's health authorities as saying that 2,009 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection had been reported from 31 provincial regions on Saturday.
Of the deaths, 139 were in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, two in Sichuan and one in Hunan, it said.
The report said the daily new confirmed cases of the disease had been dropping for 12 consecutive days now.
"The total number of confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland had reached 68,500 by the end of Saturday, and 1,665 people had died of the disease," it said.
A total of 11,272 patients remained in severe condition, and 8,228 people were suspected of being infected with the virus, it said.
As many as 1,843 new confirmed cases were reported in Hubei, taking the total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the worst-hit province to 56,249. Wuhan, the provincial capital, has recorded a total of 39,462 confirmed cases.