Virus Death Toll in China Rises to 56 With Around 2,000 Cases

BEIJING, China — The death toll from the new virus in China has risen to 56 with 1,975 total cases reported. 

The figures reported Sunday morning cover the previous 24 hours and mark an increase of 15 deaths and 688 cases. 

The government also reported five cases in Hong Kong, two in Macao and three in Taiwan. 

China's leader on Saturday called the accelerating spread of a new virus a grave situation, as cities from the outbreak's epicenter in central China to Hong Kong scrambled to contain the illness. 

Travel agencies have been told to halt all group tours. 

Millions of people traveling during the holiday have fueled the spread of the outbreak nationwide and overseas after it began in the city of Wuhan in central China's Hubei province.

Wuhan, where the outbreak started, is banning most vehicles in downtown areas to restrict people's movement, while Hong Kong is closing schools for two weeks. 

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