Two deaths have been reported outside the city of Wuhan, the center of the mysterious outbreak. The new virus has sickened more than 800 people in China.
The authorities greatly expanded a travel lockdown in central China on Thursday, essentially penning in more than 22 million residents in an effort to contain a deadly virus that is overwhelming hospitals and fueling fears of a pandemic.
The new limits — abruptly decreed ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, China’s busiest travel season — were an extraordinary step that underscored the ruling Communist Party’s deepening fears about the outbreak of a little understood coronavirus.
Chinese health officials reported on Friday that there had been 26 deaths from and 830 cases of the coronavirus, a sharp increase.
The official death toll increased by more than a half-dozen in 24 hours, while the number of confirmed cases jumped by more than 200.