Beijing: China has reported 28 new fatalities from the deadly coronavirus outbreak, taking the death toll in the country to 3,070, Chinese health officials said on Saturday as the rapid spread of the epidemic hit a milestone, infecting more than 100,000 people globally.
The virus that first emerged in China in December last year has spread to 97 countries and has infected 102,180 people, including 80,651 in China, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus tracker.
China's National Health Commission (NHC) on Saturday said it received reports of 99 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection and 28 deaths on Friday on the Chinese mainland.
The 28 deaths were all reported in the virus epicentre Hubei Province and its capital Wuhan, the NHC said.
Meanwhile, 99 new suspected cases were reported it said, a significant milestone in China's over two-month-long fight against the dreaded virus as the cases have for the first time dropped below 100.
The overall confirmed cases on the mainland have reached 80,651 by the end of Friday. This included 3,070 people who had died of the virus, 22,177 patients still undergoing treatment and 55,404 others who were discharged after recovery, the NHC said.
Also on Friday, 24 imported cases (people coming to China from abroad) of the novel coronavirus infection were reported on the mainland, including 17 in Gansu Province, three in Beijing, three in Shanghai and one in Guangdong Province. By the end of Friday, 60 imported cases were reported, the NHC said.
By the end of Friday, 107 confirmed cases, including two deaths have been reported in Hong Kong, 10 confirmed cases in the Macao SAR, and 45 in Taiwan, including one death have been reported.
While the cases of the COVID-19 in China are on the decline about 19,700 more cases were reported globally taking the overall total of the cases, including from China to over a lakh, state-run CGTN reported.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday that additional five countries -- the Philippines, New Zealand, Ireland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia -- have seen local transmission of the COVID-19.
Outside China, a total of 97 countries and regions have reported.
Bhutan, Cameroon, Serbia and South Africa have reported cases of the COVID-19 for the first time in the past 24 hours as of Friday morning, the WHO report said.
Meanwhile, Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme said there is no evidence right now suggesting the COVID-19 will disappear in summer, urging countries to fight the new virus decisively at the current stage.
"We do not know yet what the activity or behaviour of the virus will be in different climatic conditions," Ryan said, warning against the assumption that the virus would just disappear on its own in the summertime like influenza.
"We have to assume the virus will continue to have the capacity to spread," state-run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.
Besides, Ryan stressed the disease can emerge anywhere on the planet, for instance, Ebola very often emerged in Africa, while the last pandemic influenza H1N1 emerged in North America.
He called on countries and societies to avoid "blame culture" and to do all the things needed to save lives, he said.
According to the tracker, in the US, at least 299 cases of coronavirus have been detected and 14 people have died due to it.
In Italy, 4,636 have been detected and 197 have died. In Iran, 4,747 cases of the COVID-19 have been reported and 124 people have died.