The coronavirus death toll in mainland China has increased to 2,663 with 77,658 confirmed cases, according to the health authorities on Tuesday.

The National Health Commission said that it received reports of 508 new cases and 71 deaths on Monday from 31 provincial-level regions on the mainland, Xinhua news agency reported.

Among the deaths, 68 were in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, two in Shandong and one in Guangdong.

Earlier on Monday, a total of 27,323 people have been discharged from hospital after recovery, while the number of severe cases decreased by 789 to 9,126.

According to the Commission, 2,824 people were still suspected of being infected with the virus.

On Tuesday, a fourth person has died after being taken to hospital from a quarantined coronavirus-stricken cruise ship off Japan, local media said.

The health ministry did not immediately respond to a request to confirm the reports.

After China, South Korea has emerged as the biggest centre of Coronavirus with 161 more reported coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the nationwide total to 763.  The country has seen a rapid surge in the number of coronavirus cases, adding more than 700 cases in less than a week, since a cluster of infections emerged from a religious sect in the southern city of Daegu.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday raised the country’s virus alert to the highest “red” level, in a bid to strengthen the government response to the spiralling outbreak. The government has extended kindergarten and school holidays by one week nationwide and plans to enforce tighter two-week monitoring of arrivals from China.

South Korean airlines have also suspended or plan to halt flights to Daegu, Yonhap news agency says Korean Air Lines Co, the country’s biggest airline, cancelled its flights to Daegu from the southern resort island of Jeju and Incheon on Sunday.

As of Tuesday morning, the number of confirmed cases outside China were reported in South Korea (893), Japan (851), Italy (229), Singapore (90), Hong Kong (81), Iran (64), Thailand (35), the US (35), Taiwan (30), Australia (23), Malaysia (22), Germany (16), Vietnam (16), the UK (13), the UAE (13), France (12), Macau (10), Canada (10), India (three), Kuwait (three), Spain (three), the Philippines (three), Oman (two), Russia (two), Bahrain (one), Afghanistan (one), Israel (one), Egypt (one), Lebanon (one), Cambodia (one), Finland (one), Nepal (one), Sri Lanka (one), Sweden (one) and Belgium (one).

Hong Kong has confirmed the virus in 62 patients, two of whom have died. The first infections were largely found within people who had travelled to the epicentre in China’s central Hubei province.

Thailand, which has imposed no such restrictions, reported a 90 per cent slump in arrivals from the mainland this month, a gut punch to an already beleaguered tourist sector which makes up nearly a fifth of the economy.

In 2003, 299 Hong Kongers were killed by an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) — 40 per cent of the global total fatalities.

Hubei Province, a centre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported 411 new confirmed cases and 115 new deaths on Thursday, according to the provincial health commission on Friday.

Authorities have placed about 56 million people in hard-hit central Hubei under an unprecedented lockdown. Other cities far from the epicentre have restricted the movements of residents, while Beijing ordered people arriving in the capital to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine.

The novel Coronavirus outbreak has caused alarm as it has crossed global fatalities in the 2002-03 SARS epidemic.

(With inputs from agency)