The only two deaths that have been confirmed outside of China occurred in the Philippines and in Hong Kong.
The number of worldwide cases has now climbed to 31,420 across 25 countries and territories, but 99 percent of the cases are common to China. The death toll rose by 73 — and 3,100 new cases were declared — in the past 24 hours alone, according to BBC.
There had been a 15 percent increase in new cases every day this week, but Friday only saw an 11 percent increase from numbers given on Thursday, according to CNN.
According to Chinese authorities, most of the recently reported fatalities — 69 of 73 — occurred in Hubei, the province whose capital city, Wuhan, is at the center of the outbreak.
The other four deaths occurred outside of Hubei (one in the province of Jilin, one in Henan, one in Guangdong, and one in Hainan), further heightening fears of the virus spreading throughout other parts of China, according to The New York Times.
One of the 73 confirmed cases included Chinese physician Dr. Li Wenliang — dubbed the “whistleblower doctor” — who passed away at 2:58 a.m. local time Friday morning after contracting the virus earlier this year.
Dr. Wenliang, an ophthalmologist who worked in Wuhan, was the one of the first people to warn against the fast-moving pathogen. On December 30, 2019, he issued a warning to fellow medical professionals, cautioning them to be wary. However, he was told by Chinese law enforcement to stop spreading misinformation, per The Inquisitr.
The daily increase in infection cases has put a massive strain on China’s medical system and its resources, despite the country having built two emergency hospitals in Wuhan in record time. The province of Hubei is particularly struggling to treat patients as doctors have been overwhelmed. Hospitals are running out of basic supplies such as test kits and beds, as The Inquisitr reported.
Many doctors believe the current death toll and infections are not representative of the actual numbers, and fear they may be much higher.
To date, there have been 200 cases confirmed outside of China, including some in the United States, The New York Times reported.
The virus, which has been plaguing China since December, can see a variety of symptoms manifest. Some common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. While some individuals carrying the coronavirus are asymptomatic, the viral infection can quickly grow more severe without warning.