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Coronavirus death toll overtakes SARS epidemic

The number of confirmed deaths from China's coronavirus outbreak has risen to 361, with Hubei province — the center of the outbreak — reporting 57 new deaths on Monday, according to the National Health Commission.

The death toll exceeds that of the 2002-03 SARS outbreak, which killed 349 people in mainland China. The commission also confirmed 2,829 new cases of the virus nationwide on Sunday, bringing the total number of people infected within China to 17,205. The total number globally is 17,300. 

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The World Health Organization has said the number of confirmed cases will keep growing because thousands of specimens from suspected cases have yet to be tested.

Chinese stocks plummeted by almost 9% at the start of trade on Monday as investors returned from the Lunar New Year break, which was extended due to virus fears. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index nosedived 8.73%, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, sank 8.99%.