Director of hospital in China’s coronavirus epicentre dies from disease himself

The director of the hospital in China's coronavirus epicentre has died from the disease himself.

Dr Liu Zhiming, director of Wuhan Wuchang Hospital, died today from the virus officially named COVID 19.

The coronavirus death toll in mainland China reached 1,770 on Sunday, up by 105 from the previous day, the country's National Health Commission has said.

The number of new deaths in China's central Hubei province from the coronavirus outbreak rose by 100 as of Sunday.

Across mainland China, there were 2,048 new confirmed infections on Sunday. The total accumulated number so far has reached 70,548.

The latest rise in the number of reported new cases of coronavirus in Hubei after two days of falls, comes as authorities imposed tough new restrictions on movement to prevent the spread of the disease.

The tighter lockdown on the central province where the flu-like virus originated in December came as American passengers were taken off a cruise liner on Sunday to fly home after being quarantined for two weeks off Japan.

Seventy new coronavirus cases were confirmed on board the Diamond Princess where 3,700 passengers and crew have been held since February 3.

Some 355 people on board have tested positive for the disease, by far the largest cluster of cases outside China.

Canadian, Italian, South Korean and Hong Kong passengers were expected to follow soon, after their governments also announced plans to repatriate passengers.

"Leaving in a few hours. No details. Might be going to Texas or Nebraska," Gay Courter, one of the American passengers on board, told Reuters.

She said she expected to spend another two weeks in quarantine on U.S. soil.

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