A picture released by the Central Hospital of Wuhan shows medical staff attending to patient at the The Central Hospital Of Wuhan Via Weibo in Wuhan, China on an unknown date. THE CENTRAL HOSPITAL OF WUHAN VIA WEIBO/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

BEIJING, January 23. /TASS/. The number of people infected with a new type of coronavirus 2019-nCoV in China has risen to 644, with the official death toll reaching 18, the messages by Chinese healthcare and hygiene committees informed.

According to Chinese officials, there was a first casualty documented outside the Hubei province. An 80-year-old man felt unwell after returning from Wuhan (Hubei province), where he visited relatives, to the Hebei province. The man sought medical aid; however, he succumbed to the illness on January 22.

The highest amount of people infected (444 people) has been documented in the Hubei province, followed by the Guangdong province (32), the Zhejiang province (27), Beijing (22) and Shanghai (16).

The Russian Embassy in Beijing informed TASS on Thursday that the diplomatic mission had not been contacted by any Russian citizens currently in Wuhan.

On December 31, 2019, the Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a new type of pneumonia in the city of Wuhan in central China. On January 7, Chinese specialists determined the virus behind the infection – coronavirus 2019-nCoV. Doctors say that the symptoms of the new coronavirus include running nose, cough, sore throat and chest tightness. Migraines and fever are also possible, and they can last for several days. The risk group includes people with a compromised immune system, such as seniors and children. They present with symptoms similar to those of pneumonia and bronchitis.

Cases of coronavirus have been reported outside of China in Thailand (three cases), Vietnam (two cases), Japan, the US, Singapore and South Korea (one case each).

The Russian Health Ministry informed earlier that it had begun the search for the vaccine against the virus, holding talks with Chinese researchers on the possibility of getting access to biological materials in order to begin elaborating the vaccine.

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