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New coronavirus deaths in China were 89 as of the end of 08 February, increasing the total death toll to 813, including one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.

This puts the number of deaths due to the new coronavirus above the 774 caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2002-2003.

New coronavirus infection cases have now touched 37,549 worldwide, of which 37,198 are in mainland China.

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China’s National Health Commission (NHC) reported 2,656 new confirmed cases, 3,916 new suspected cases and 87 serious cases on Saturday.

NHC also reported 600 new recovered cases, taking the overall cured cases in mainland China to 2,649 as of Saturday.

According to the University of Michigan School of Public Health epidemiology professor Joseph Eisenberg, the uncertainty surrounding the case count make its difficult to determine if the epidemic was peaking.

Eisenberg was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Even if reported cases might be peaking, we don’t know what is happening with unreported cases. This is especially an issue in some of the more rural areas.”

China has been working on various measures to contain the new coronavirus epidemic.

In a recent development, NHC recommended that protective suits and clothing must be used reasonably to avoid waste of resources and spread of infection.

The recommendation comes as the country is facing a shortage of equipment, including suits, masks and goggles, despite a rise in protective clothing supply.

Philippines evacuates 30 citizens

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in the Philippines confirmed the evacuation of 30 nationals from Wuhan, including one infant.

Marking the first evacuation by the country, the plane carrying the evacuees landed at the Haribon Hangar in Clark Air Base on 09 February.

The evacuation process was initiated on 28 January. After receiving the necessary clearances, a ten-member team flew into Wuhan city Saturday night.

Evacuees are now under quarantine in the Athlete’s Village, New Clark City, Tarlac.

A total of three confirmed cases have been reported in the country, to date. The country also saw the first death due to coronavirus outside China, a 44-year old male who died on 01 February.

Read death toll update of 08 February here.