New Delhi: The death toll due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China has increased to 908 and the number of infected people globally has now hit the 40,000 mark, the Chinese authorities stated on Monday.  Of the total 908, 871 deaths were reported from Hubei Province.

“As of 24:00 on February 9, Hubei Province reported a total of 29,631 cases of new coronavirus pneumonia, including 16,902 cases in Wuhan. 22,160 patients are still being treated in hospitals. 73,127 people remain under medical observation,” read the statement from the Chinese Regional Health Committee.

Earlier on Sunday, the new coronavirus surpassed the fatalities caused by the SARS epidemic in 2003. The SARS epidemic claimed 774 lives worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. SARS also began in China in the southern Guangzhou province, while the coronavirus appears to have originated from a seafood market in the central-eastern city of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province.

Meanwhile, PM Modi wrote a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping, extending him help to tackle the epidemic. PM Modi in the letter expressed solidarity with people of China and President Jinping over the outbreak of coronavirus. He also offered condolences over the loss of lives in the country.’

The Indian Prime Minister also conveyed appreciation for the facilitation provided by the Chinese government for evacuation of around 650 Indian citizens from Wuhan in Hubei province which has been placed under lockdown for the past several weeks now.