The number of new coronavirus cases in China's Hubei province rose Friday after two straight days of declines, but the increase was still the smallest since the end of January.
The Hubei health commission reported 411 new cases Friday, up from Thursday's count of 349. It also reported 115 new deaths.
Hubei, and its provincial capital of Wuhan, is where the outbreak began in December.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday that the numbers out of China showing an overall decline in the number of new cases was encouraging. But he repeated his caution against relaxing efforts to fight the virus.
“We’re encouraged by this trend, but this is no time for complacency,” Tedros said at his daily briefing Thursday.
He said most cases of the virus outside China were still comparatively small in number but warned, “That may not stay the same for very long.”
He said WHO was conducting two clinical trials to treat the deadly virus and expected “preliminary results in three weeks.”
Meanwhile, South Korea was reporting 52 new cases, bringing the number there to 152.
The country’s fourth-largest city, Daegu, looked like a ghost town, with people ordered to stay off the streets as much as possible after 35 new cases in the city and its suburbs were reported on Thursday alone.
A woman who later tested positive was believed to have spread the virus to others at a church event.
At least 25 countries besides China were reporting more than 1,000 coronavirus cases and 11 deaths, including one in South Korea, two in Iran, and an elderly couple who became ill aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess, which has been quarantined at the Japanese port city of Yokohama since February 3.