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China coronavirus death toll climbs to 81

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*RESENDING UPDATING DEATH TOLL IN HEADLINE*

The death toll from China's new coronavirus continued to rise Monday (January 27), as global efforts to contain the rapid outbreak doubled down.

The number of confirmed cases in China is in the thousands.

U.S. officials reported multiple cases on Sunday (January 26).

And it's already spread to other countries including Thailand, Australia and France.

More than ten cities in Hubei have already been shut down.

Hubei is the province in which Wuhan - the city where the outbreak began - is located.

And neighbouring provinces are anticipating the exclusion list will only widen.

China said it would extend a week-long Lunar New Year holiday, in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.

State media reported that Beijing will also delay the re-opening of schools and universities after the holiday.

Hong Kong announced a similar plan, with schools to remain closed until February 17th.

Hong Kong also said it would ban entry to travelers who had visited Hubei in the last fourteen days.

The government's plan for a quarantine zone were stalled though, after protesters torched a newly-built residential building that authorities planned to use as a quarantine facility.

(SOUNDBITE)(Cantonese) 26-YEAR-OLD INSURANCE SALESPERSON, REFUSING TO GIVE HIS NAME BUT SAYING HE IS A LONG-TERM RESIDENT, SAYING:

"Our message is very simple. Don't make this estate into a quarantine area, as there are lots of residents here. It's that simple."

Airports around the world are ramping up screening measures of Chinese passengers.

Though its effectiveness has been questioned by health officials.

Some foreign governments are working to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan.

France said its evacuees will spend fourteen days in quarantine, to stop the possible spread of the virus.

Also on Sunday, Chinese officials confirmed that the ability of the new virus to spread is getting stronger, and that infections could continue to rise.

No deaths have been reported outside of China from the virus so far.

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