A medical worker attends to a patient in the intensive care unit at Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak [Xiong Qi/Xinhua via EPA]

China on Sunday expanded drastic travel restrictions to contain the spread of a new coronavirus that President Xi Jinping said posed a “grave” threat, as the death toll reached 56 and Shanghai reported its first fatality.

China confirmed 1,975 cases of patients infected with the new coronavirus as of January 25, state broadcaster CCTV reported. More than 2,000 people across the world have now been infected.

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The virus, believed to have originated late last year in a seafood market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife, has spread to Chinese cities including

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