00:58 GMT18 February 2020
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    The Chinese president has urged the Communistic Party Central Committee to centralize their efforts to counter the accelerating spread of the new coronavirus pneumonia epidemic.

    The meeting emphasized the recent outbreak of new coronavirus pneumonia infections in Wuhan and other places in Hubei Province.

    "We are faced with a difficult situation, as the spread of the new coronavirus is accelerating," China’s President Xi Jinping said during the CPC Central Committee meeting on Saturday.

    China's National Health Committee said on Saturday that it had sent 1,230 doctors to help contain the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, the city where the current outbreak started in December and also the current epicentre of the disease. At least 450 military doctors, including physicians who have experience in fighting the SARS and Ebola epidemics, have also been reportedly sent to Wuhan.

    China’s National Health Commission said on Saturday that the total number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in China currently stands at 1,372. At least 56 people have died from the virus in China. Confirmed cases of the new coronavirus have also been recorded in Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Nepal, France, the United States and Australia.

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