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China reports a drop in new coronavirus cases

China has reported a drop in new coronavirus cases for the third straight day.

Posted: Feb 16, 2020 9:41 AM
Updated: Mar 10, 2020 1:32 PM

BEIJING (AP) -- China has reported a drop in new coronavirus cases for the third straight day.

The National Health Commission says there are 2,009 new cases in mainland China, bringing its total number of confirmed cases to 68,500.

The fatality rate remained stable with 142 new deaths. The death toll in mainland China now stands at 1,665.

After Chinese President Xi Jinping played a muted public role in the early days of the epidemic, state media have published a speech Xi delivered on Feb. 3 in which he said he gave instructions on fighting the virus as early as Jan. 7.

It indicates leaders were aware of the outbreak's potential severity well before such dangers were made known to the public.

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