74,576 reports of confirmed cases and 2,118 deaths had been received in 31 provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland and Xinjiang region, the country's National Health Commission announced on Thursday in daily briefing on coronavirus cases.

"31 provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland as well as the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps reported 394 new cases of confirmed infections, 1,277 new cases of suspected infections, and 114 deaths. 1,779 patients were released from hospitals after being cured. 25,318 people who had had close contact with infected patients were freed from medical observation. Serious cases decreased by 113," the NHC said. 

The National Health Commission had received 74,576 reports of confirmed cases and 2,118 deaths in 31 provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, and

A total of 16,155 patients had been cured and discharged from hospital. There still remained 56,303 confirmed cases, including 11,864 in serious condition and 4,922 suspected cases. So far, 589,163 people have been identified as having had close contact with infected patients. 126,363 are now under medical observation.

On the other hand, Japanese health ministry said on Thursday that two cruise ship passengers who were hospitalized with the viral infection have died.

Two Iranians have died in hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus in Qom.

The virus was first detected in Wuhan city, Central China, in December 2019. It is believed to have originated from wild animals, passing to humans due to the wildlife trade and wet markets. The virus spread to other China provinces in early and mid-January 2020, helped by the Chinese new year migration.

Cases started to be detected in other countries, carried by international travelers, typically to major trade partners: Thailand, Japan, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Taiwan, the U.S., Singapore, Vietnam, France, Nepal, Malaysia, Iran, Belgium, Finland, Australia, Canada, Germany, Sri Lanka, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Spain.

WHO declared the new coronavirus outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 31. (ILKHA)

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