The number of confirmed fatalities from China’s coronavirus outbreak rose to at least 560, after authorities in hardest-hit Hubei province reported 70 new deaths on Thursday.
In its daily update, the health commission in Hubei also confirmed another 2,987 new cases.
That puts the national total at more than 27,300, based on numbers previously issued by the central government.
The epidemic, which has spiralled into a global health emergency, is believed to have emerged in December from a market that sold wild game in Hubei’s capital Wuhan.
Hu Lishan, an official in Wuhan, warned Wednesday that despite building a hospital from scratch and converting public buildings to accommodate thousands of extra patients, there was still a “severe” lack of beds in the region.
There was also a shortage of “equipment and materials,” he told reporters, adding that officials were looking to convert other hotels and schools in the city into treatment centres.
Authorities in several other cities in China have placed restrictions on the number of people allowed to leave their homes.
Global concerns have also risen about the virus, with cases confirmed in more than 20 countries.