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More than 100 new deaths on Sunday have pushed the coronavirus (covid-19) death toll in China to 1770, health officials have said, adding that more than 70500 are infected.

The worst-hit central Chinese Hubei province reported 1,933 new cases of on Sunday with 100 deaths and 1,016 cases of recovery.

The total number of infections in the province climbed to 58,182, with 6,639 patients recovered and 1,696 dead; this marks an increase of new cases in the province after three consecutive days when the infection numbers had dropped.

Outside Hubei, the number of new infections has dropped across China for 12 consecutive days, health officials have said.

Hundreds are also infected in more than two dozen countries with at least four deaths reported from outside China.

In the province, the capital, Wuhan, is facing the brunt of the outbreak and most new cases and deaths have been reported from the city.

At least 10 cities in Hubei have suspended selling medicines for fever and cough, urging people who have such symptoms to go to the hospital as soon as possible.

The hard-hit province of around 60 million people is scrambling to contain the spread with stringent new measures.

The new measures include locking down all residential communities in urban and rural areas, closing all non-essential public places as well as banning public gatherings and private vehicles in order to fight against the virus.

“The notice, published on Sunday, stipulates that all residential communities in urban and rural areas in Hubei are subject to the strictest 24-hour lockdown management, which prevents all outsiders and vehicles from entering, if deemed unnecessary,” the state media reported.

Residents are restricted from going out of their communities and medicines and daily necessities would be collectively purchased and delivered to residents, the notice said.

New traffic measures to be implemented from Monday include enforcing province-wide traffic restrictions on all non-emergency vehicles and closing all non-essential public venues, according to the circular issued by the provincial government.

The measures were being taken in the province because it is at a “critical stage” to control the epidemic and the situation remains “grave”, said the circular.

According to the circular, the health screening campaign should be strengthened and no one should be missed. Once any resident shows symptoms such as fever or coughing, the situation should be immediately reported to the local community or village.

“Four categories of people,” namely patients confirmed or suspected to be infected with the virus, their close contacts and patients with fever, should be timely treated or placed in quarantine instead of self-isolation at home.

Xiaogan, a city in Hubei, has banned all residents from going out except in case of necessity starting from Monday, and those who violate the regulation will be placed in detention for 10 days for violating public security rules, the tabloid Global Times reported.

Entrances to residential complexes will be guarded to allow only residents to enter or exit.

Meanwhile, two US government-chartered planes carrying hundreds of American citizens evacuated from a coronavirus-hit cruise ship quarantined in Japan, left Tokyo’s Haneda airport Monday morning, the Japanese Kyodo news agency reported.

Evacuees left Yokohama Port around 1:40 a.m Monday aboard 10 coaches belonging to Japan’s self-defense Forces, with drivers in protective suits.

Of some 400 US citizens who were aboard the Diamond Princess docked in Yokohama, 44 tested positive for coronavirus, The Washington Post said, quoting Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.