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China says virus cases rise to 440, with 9 deaths

Medical staff transfer a patient from an ambulance at the Jinyintan hospital, where the patients with pneumonia caused by the new strain of coronavirus are being treated, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer CHINA OUT.

BEIJING, Jan 22 (Reuters) - China's National Health Commission said on Wednesday 440 people in 13 Chinese provinces were confirmed to be infected with a new coronavirus as of Tuesday, with nine deaths, and that there was evidence of respiratory transmission from patient to patient.

The number of cases compares with the total of over 300 reported earlier as of Tuesday. Li Bin, vice minister of the commission, also told a media briefing that live animals were not allowed to enter Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the outbreak originated. (Reporting by Cate Cadell; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)