Clusters of the illness continued to balloon outside mainland China, fueling apprehension across the globe that was reflected in sagging financial markets.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 60 new cases in its morning update, taking the tally to 893 – the largest national total anywhere outside China.
Many academics, environmentalists and residents in China have joined international conservation groups in calling for a permanent ban. Online debate within China has also heavily favoured a permanent ban.
New death toll comes after 96 more people died in Hubei province, hard-hit epicentre of outbreak. Meanwhile, a dozen towns in northern Italy are locked down after deaths of two people infected.
The report by the semi-official Mehr news agency came as Iranians voted in nationwide parliamentary elections. The total death toll from COVID-19 stands at four in Iran.
The vast majority of the deaths were in the provincial capital of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December, according to a daily update from the Hubei health commission.
The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China had reached 2,118 as of the end of Wednesday, up by 114 from the previous day.
The latest figures bring the total number of cases in China to over 74,000 with 2,004 deaths, three quarters of which have occurred in the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan.
The update raised the number of deaths in mainland China to 1,886 and the total confirmed cases to 72,436.
China's biggest political meeting of the year is scheduled in March and the standing committee for National People's Congress is seeking its delay. Meanwhile, health officials are urging recovered patients to donate blood for treating critically ill.
In its daily update, the province Hubei's health commission also reported 1,933 new cases while at least 70,400 people have now been infected nationwide.
A taxi driver died from COVID-19 in Taiwan, officials say marking first such death on island and fifth fatality outside mainland China from an epidemic that IMF says could damage global growth.
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