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China Coronavirus Toll Passes 1,000 as Xi Visits Frontline Hospital

The Chinese president donned a face mask and had his temperature checked while visiting medical workers and patients affected by the deadly coronavirus that has killed at least 1,011 people. The fatalities soared after hardest-hit Hubei province — the epicenter of the outbreak — reported another 103 deaths on Tuesday, the highest single-day toll since the virus emerged. At a hospital treating infected patients in Beijing, Xi on Monday called the situation at the epicenter “still very grave” and “more decisive measures” to contain the spread of the virus, said state broadcaster CCTV. Xi appointed Premier Li Keqiang to lead a group tackling the outbreak and it was Li who visited ground zero in Wuhan last month. On Monday, Xi put on a blue mask and white surgical gown to meet doctors at Beijing Ditan hospital, observe the treatment of patients and speak via video link to doctors in Wuhan, state media said. He then visited a residential community in central Beijing to “investigate and guide” efforts to contain the epidemic, said CCTV. Video footage showed Xi having his temperature taken with an infrared thermometer then speaking with community workers and waving at smiling residents leaning out of apartment windows. The outbreak has prompted unprecedented action by the Chinese government, including locking down entire cities in Hubei as well as cutting transport links nationwide, closing tourist attractions and telling hundreds of millions of people to stay indoors.

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