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BEIJING: The number of deaths from China’s new coronavirus epidemic jumped to 722 on Saturday (Feb 8), surpassing the toll from the SARS outbreak on the mainland and Hong Kong almost two decades ago.

Another 86 people died from the virus, according to the national health commission, with all but five in hard-hit Hubei province, where the disease emerged in December.

The toll is now higher than that of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus in mainland China and Hong Kong, where nearly 650 people died in 2002-2003.
However, the global toll for SARS, a disease in the same family as the new coronavirus, remains higher at more than 770 deaths.

In its daily update, the health commission also confirmed another 3,399 new cases. There are now more than 34,500 confirmed infections across the country.“`