Latest on pneumonia epidemic:
Cases of the new coronavirus pneumonia disease rose to 571 on the Chinese mainland as of Wednesday midnight, including 95 in critical condition, and fatalities rose to 17, China’s National Health Commission said on Thursday morning.
In addition, 393 suspected cases were reported as of Wednesday midnight. All the reported deaths were in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.
Outside the mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan each confirmed one case.
Thailand confirmed three cases, while the United States, Japan and South Korea reported one confirmed case each, the commission said.
Health authorities have traced 5,897 people who had close contact with the patients, and 969 of them have been released from medical observation, with 4,928 still under medical observation.
Earlier on the same day, the government of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreaks, announced a suspension of the city’s public transport system, including buses, subway and ferry, and exits of airport and railway stations in the city, for disease control.