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  1. ITV Report

Number of new coronavirus cases in China falls for third straight day

Residents wearing masks wait at a traffic light in Beijing. Credit: AP

Chinese authorities have reported the number of new coronavirus cases have fallen for the third straight day to 2,009 new infections.

The reports come as the death toll from Covid-19 in mainland China has risen by 142 to 1,665.

The number of people infected globally stands at 68,500, according to the country’s National Health Commission.

More than 3,000 people in UK have been tested for the virus but there have been no new positive results, officials say.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said on Sunday that 3,109 tests have been carried out in the UK so far, with nine positive results.

This is an increase of 117 tests on the 2,992 reported on Saturday.

It comes as it was reported "millions" of Britons with flu-like symptoms could be told by authorities to “self-isolate” by staying at home for a fortnight if the UK’s number of coronavirus cases rises to more than 100.

The Sunday Telegraph said senior NHS managers have been told that the service will stop testing for the strain known as Covid-19 “once around 100 cases have been confirmed” across Britain.

If the number of cases rises significantly those with coughs and colds may have to stay home to limit the chance of the outbreak spreading.

The Department of Health and Social Care did not comment when asked about the self-isolation direction.

All of the Brits who were quarantined on The Wirral have now been released. Credit: PA

Since the outbreak began in December, it has spread to more than 24 countries and prompted sweeping prevention measures from the Chinese government, including a lockdown of cities with a combined population of more than 60 million.

Many countries have also placed travel restrictions on recent visitors to China.

After Chinese President Xi Jinping played a muted public role in the early days of the epidemic, state media published on Saturday a speech President Xi delivered on February 3 in which he said he gave instructions on fighting the virus as early as January 7.

Confirmed cases worldwide. Credit: PA Graphics

The disclosure indicates top leaders were aware of the outbreak’s potential severity well before such dangers were made known to the public.

It was not until late January that officials said the virus can spread between humans and public alarm began to rise.

In his speech, the Chinese president also revealed that he ordered a lockdown of the virus epicenter of Wuhan in the Hubei province: “On January 22, in light of the epidemic’s rapid spread and the challenges of prevention and control, I made a clear request that Hubei province implement comprehensive and stringent controls over the outflow of people.”

On January 23, Wuhan became the first city to impose an unprecedented halt on outbound transportation.