BEIJING — China reported a rise in new virus cases Monday, denting optimism that disease control measures including isolating major cities might be working, while the operator of a cruise ship in Japan reported dozens of new cases.
Britain declared the virus an “imminent threat” and said it would forcibly detain infected people if necessary. France tested 45 children and their parents after five British tourists contracted the virus at a ski resort.
More Chinese workers and shoppers went back to offices and markets following the Lunar New Year, which was extended to discourage travel and reduce the risk the virus might spread.
Hong Kong canceled an arts festival including two concerts by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
China reported consumer inflation spiked to an eight-year high in January, possibly boosted by panic buying and hoarding as word of the outbreak and anti-disease measures spread.
China’s death toll rises, global stock markets decline
The mainland death toll rose by 97 to 908 in the 24 hours through midnight Sunday and 3,062 new cases were reported.
That was up 15% from Saturday and broke a string of daily declines. A government spokesman had said Sunday those declines showed containment measures were successful.
The fatality toll has passed the 774 people believed to have died in the 2002-03 epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, another viral outbreak that originated in China. The total of 40,171 cases on the mainland vastly exceeds the 8,098 sickened by SARS.
More than 440 cases have been confirmed outside mainland China, including two deaths in Hong Kong and the Philippines.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping, wearing a mask, visited a community health center in Beijing. He had his temperature taken and expressed thanks to the health workers on behalf of the Communist Party and government. “We will most definitely win this people’s war,” he said.
China has built two hospitals and sent thousands of extra doctors, nurses and other health care workers to Wuhan, the city of 11 million people in central China that is the epicenter of the outbreak. Most access to Wuhan was suspended Jan. 23. Restrictions have spread to cities with a total of 60 million people.
Global stock markets slid following warnings that investor optimism that the disease and its economic impact were being brought under control might be premature.
Dozens of new cases on cruise ship in Japan
Japan’s health ministry said an additional 65 cases were found aboard a cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, raising the total to 135.
The operator of the ship earlier reported 66 new cases, but the ministry said one person may have been counted twice.
Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said the Japanese government was considering testing all 3,711 passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess, which would require them to remain aboard until results are available. Health authorities are scrambling to deliver medicine requested by more than 600 passengers.