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China Posts Lower Number Of New Virus Cases, Says Many Originated In Iran

A medical staff member checks information as patients infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus leave from Wuhan No.3 Hospital to Huoshenshan Hospital in China's central Hubei province on March 4, 2020.

China says that nearly all of its new confirmed coronavirus cases outside of the epicenter city of Wuhan have originated abroad, including many who arrived on flights from Iran.

The authorities on March 7 said mainland China had 99 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections for the day, down from 143 cases a day earlier and the lowest daily number since January 20,

The National Health Commission (NHC) said that outside of the central Hubei Province, there were 25 new confirmed cases reported for March 6, of which 24 came from outside China.

It said that most of them were in northwestern Gansu Province from quarantined passengers who entered the provincial capital of Lanzhou on commercial flights from Iran from March 2 to March 5.

The capital, Beijing, reported four new cases -- three of which came from Italy.

For the second day in a row, there were no new infections in Hubei outside of Wuhan, the provincial capital.

The latest cases bring the accumulated number of confirmed infections in mainland China to 80,651.

Deaths related to the COVID-19 virus in mainland China rose by 28 for the day to total 3,070.

In recent days, the rate of new infections has risen higher outside of China than in the country where it started.

Iran and Italy, along with South Korea, have been the hardest-hit countries.

Iran on March 6 said the death toll from the coronavirus had risen to 124 people, including a former deputy foreign minister who reportedly died after being infected.

Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpur said 17 had died over the previous 24 hours, while more than 1,000 were additionally diagnosed as positive for the virus, bringing the total to more than 4,700.

Global stock markets have been battered over the past 10 days as fears rise of an economic slump amid declining consumer demand and travel because of the virus.

With reporting by Reuters and AP