China allocates $10bn to contain coronavirus as death toll outstrips 2003 Sars outbreak

Millions of Chinese workers still are preparing to go back to work on Monday after an extended Lunar New Year holiday draws to a close

By Sarah Newey | The Telegraph |

A passenger wearing a mask and covered with a plastic bag walks outside Shanghai railway station Credit: REUTERS/Aly Song

China has allocated more than $10 billion to efforts to contain the new coronavirus, as the number of deaths exceeded the total reported during the Sars outbreak.

The country’s finance ministry said that it would set aside 71.85 billion yuan ($10.26 billion) to ensure that regional efforts to fight the virus, known as 2019-nCoV, are not hampered by financial restraints.

The money will also go towards helping members of the public afford diagnosis and treatment, officials announced.

It comes as Chinese authorities confirmed on Sunday morning that there were 89 fatalities in the previous 24 hours – setting a grim new record for daily deaths.

At least 811 people have now died during the current epidemic, exceeding the 774 fatalities reported during the devastating severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak in 2002-2003.

But millions of Chinese employees still are preparing to go back to work on Monday after an extended Lunar New Year holiday draws to a close.

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