The number of fatalities from China's new coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic climbed to 1,665 on Sunday after 142 more people died due to the infection that has spiralled into a nationwide health crisis in the country.

The total of confirmed coronavirus cases in China stood at 37,198 cases.Reuters

According to the National Health Commission (NHC) 2,009 fresh cases were reported since Saturday, a decline from the 2,641 cases reported a day earlier.

The symptoms of the new coronavirus are in many cases similar to those of a cold but may be accompanied by fever and fatigue, dry cough and dyspnea (shortness of breath).

The total number of coronavirus patients in the country has now risen to 68,500, Efe news reported. All but three of the fresh casualties caused by COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation were reported from its epicentre Hubei province.

The hard-hit province accounts for the most 1,596 of the total coronavirus death toll in the country, the provincial health commission reported.

Two of the three people admitted to a hospital in Mumbai for possible exposure to the coronavirus have tested negative for infection.Twitter

1,850 fresh cases reported from Hubei

Nearly 1,850 fresh cases from reported from Hubei, a drop from some 2,400 registered a day earlier. The total number of cases in the mid-eastern province has jumped past 56,000.

Provincial capital Wuhan, where the disease was first identified, continued to bear the brunt of the epidemic, reporting 110 deaths in the 24 hours ending Sunday morning.

Authorities announced Saturday that they had mobilised over 20,000 medical professionals to the city, which has effectively remained in quarantine since January 23.

Medical workers work at "Wuhan Livingroom" in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 8, 2020. The cultural building complex dubbed "Wuhan Livingroom" is a converted hospital to receive patients infected with the novel coronavirus.

The NHC said 219 serious cases were identified across the country since Saturday, while 1,323 people were discharged after getting cured.

Over 9,400 patients have been discharged since the epidemic began while nearly 530,000 people who had been in close contact with the infected were followed up, with around 30 per cent of these still under observation.

The number of suspected cases grew to 8,228 on Sunday with over 2,000 fresh possibilities identified in the last 24 hours, the commission said.

After the first death outside Asia was reported from France on Saturday, the number of deaths outside mainland China has grown to four, with one death each reported from Japan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong.

Although the virus has spread to around 30 countries worldwide, China accounts for around 99 per cent of the total cases.