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Number of coronavirus deaths on mainland China climbs to 908

As cases and deaths rise continue to rise, here is the latest you need to know.
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Deaths on mainland China rise to 908; confirmed cases reach more than 40,000

• Six more coronavirus patients, including an American, confirmed on cruise ship off Japan

• Chinese authorities warn about use of masks

• Passengers, crew of quarantined cruise ship in Hong Kong are allowed to disembark

• Four passengers on cruise ship docked in New Jersey test negative

• Videos appears to show people forcibly taken for quarantine in China

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Number of coronavirus deaths on mainland China climbs to 908

The number of people killed by the novel coronavirus in China continued to rise Monday, with officials reporting a total of 908 deaths on mainland provinces since the outbreak began last month.

Officials with China's National Health Commission had reported 811 deaths Sunday.

The commission said another 3,000 people were diagnosed with the virus, raising the number of confirmed cases to 40,171. More than 2,600 of these new cases were in Hubei, the province where the virus is believed to have started.

Another 64 cases were reported in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. One person has died from the illness in Hong Kong.

Hundreds of cases have been reported in two-dozen other countries, including in the United States, where 12 cases have been confirmed.

Coronavirus deaths on mainland China rise to 811, surpass SARS deaths

The number of deaths from novel coronavirus on mainland China increased to 811 on Sunday, officials with China's National Health Commission said.

That exceeds the number of deaths reported from the SARS outbreak in 2003, which killed 774 people, according to the World Health Organization.

Outside China, two people died from the disease in the last two weeks, one in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong, bringing the total number of global deaths to at least 813.

As of Sunday, more than 37,198 confirmed cases had been reported on mainland China.

However, officials at the National Health Commission said the number of confirmed cases reported daily in provinces other than Hubei — the region in central China were the virus is believed to have originated — had dropped from 890 on Feb. 3 to 509 on Saturday — a decrease of nearly 43 percent.

They said that indicated "that preventative and control measures such as joint prevention, control mechanisms and strict management are being implemented and they are effective." — Leou Chen, Yuliya Talmazan and Reuters

Six more coronavirus patients, including one American, confirmed on cruise ship off Japan

Six more people aboard a cruise ship quarantined in Japan have tested positive for novel coronavirus, bringing the total on the Diamond Princess to 70, Japan's Health Ministry said Sunday.

The ministry said one of the six patients is a woman in her 70s who has Hong Kong residency but is also a U.S. citizen. That brings the total number of U.S. passengers confirmed to have the virus to 14.

About 3,700 passengers and crew are aboard the ship, but those who tested positive were taken to hospitals.

The Diamond Princess was quarantined off Yokohama and testing was conducted on 336 passengers after a man who had been on the ship last month was later confirmed to have the virus.

Princess Cruises, the company that owns the ship, said in a statement Saturday that the ship had received more medication, which was being distributed based on medical and urgent priority.

Telephone access to trained counselors has also been arranged for guests experiencing mental stress, the company said.

The quarantine is expected to last until Feb. 19.— Arata Yamamoto and Yuliya Talmazan

Chinese authorities warn about use of masks

Officials with China's National Development and Reform Commission warned against "excessive and improper" use of protective masks.

The demand for respiratory masks has surged in China during the outbreak.

Image: Masked travelers in Shanghai
Passengers wearing protective masks travel on a subway train in Shanghai, China, on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020.Noel Celis / AFP - Getty Images

"With regard to the use of masks, we once again propose that you use them scientifically," said Chen Da, deputy director of the economic and trade department at the development commission.

"Avoid excessive and improper use and save mask resources," he added.

The World Health Organization has also advised "rational use of medical masks" to avoid "unnecessary wastage of precious resources and potential mis-use of masks."

The organization advised using a mask only if one has respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing) or is caring for someone suspected to be infected. — Leou Chen and Yuliya Talmazan

Passengers, crew of quarantined cruise ship in Hong Kong allowed to leave

Hong Kong health officials said Sunday that all passengers and crew members aboard a cruise ship that has been in quarantine in Hong Kong over fears of coronavirus can leave the ship.

"With the help of the cruise company and people on board, the Health Department already completed sample collection yesterday," said Leung Yiu-hung, chief port health officer for Hong Kong's Health Ministry.

"The results show that all people on board are negative to coronavirus tests," Leung said, adding that all passengers and crew members are allowed to disembark.

Last week, the Health Ministry said three people who tested positive were on board the ship during a previous voyage, from Jan. 19 to Jan. 24.

That prompted a mass health screening of the 3,600 passengers and crew members. — Jasmine Leung

Four passengers on cruise ship docked in New Jersey test negative

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy confirmed Sunday that four passengers from a cruise ship docked in Bayonne had tested negative for novel coronavirus.

Royal Caribbean said Saturday that the departure of its Anthem of the Seas cruise from New Jersey would be delayed two more days, until Monday, to allow continued testing of passengers from the ship's previous cruise.

When the ship returned to Bayonne on Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention boarded to screen 27 passengers who had recently traveled from mainland China.

Four of the passengers tested negative at a hospital. Another 23 people were to return to China.

"New Jersey currently has no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, and the risk to residents remains low," Murphy said. — Phil McCausland and Yuliya Talmazan

Videos appears to show people forcibly taken for quarantine in China

Two videos have surfaced on social media that appear to show people in China being taken into quarantine over the coronavirus.

One of them, posted to Twitter on Friday, appeared to show several people wearing white protective suits forcibly removing three people from an apartment. One of the people appeared to struggle before they were led away.

The video was taken in Kunshan in Jiangsu province at the home of a family who had returned from Hubei province, according to The Associated Press, citing a report Wednesday in the official provincial media outlet, Jiangsu Communication Broadcasting Station.

A second video, posted to Twitter on Thursday, appeared to show two people hugging in the city of Suzhou, also in Jiangsu province. One of them was then escorted into what looks like an isolation container on the back of a government vehicle.

It's unclear when either video was recorded.Minyvonne Burke, Suzanne Ciechalski, Leou Chen and Dawn Liu