The number of people killed by the new coronavirus rose by 97 on Sunday, the highest number of casualties in a day.

The total number of deaths in China is now 908 – but the number of newly-infected people per day has stabilised.

Across China, 40,171 people are infected while 187,518 are under medical observation.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent a team of experts to Beijing to help investigate the new virus.

According to Chinese data, 3,281 patients have been cured and discharged from hospital.

On Monday, millions of people returned to work after the Lunar New Year break, which was extended to curb the spread of the virus.

But precautionary measures remain in place, including the staggering of working hours, and the selective reopening of workplaces.

Over the weekend, the number of coronavirus deaths overtook that of the Sars epidemic in 2003 which also originated in China and killed 774 people worldwide.

The WHO on Saturday said the number of new cases in China was “stabilising” – but warned it was too early to say if the virus had peaked.

The virus has also spread to at least other 27 countries and territories, but so far there have only been two deaths outside of mainland China, in the Philippines and Hong Kong.

The outbreak was declared a global emergency by the WHO on 30 January.

The new virus was first reported in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. The city of 11 million has been in lockdown for weeks.

Meanwhile in Hong Kong, passengers on a quarantined cruise ship have been allowed to disembark after tests showed no infection among them or its crew.

The World Dream had been held in isolation after eight passengers from a previous cruise had caught the virus.

Another cruise ship off Japan remains in quarantine after dozens of cases were confirmed on board.

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