Coronavirus vaccine
Representative photo.

As deadly coronavirus claimed 56 lives and infected nearly 2,000 people in the country, China has started developing a vaccine to prevent the virus.

A media report quoted Xu Wenbo, a scientist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as saying on Sunday that scientists had successfully isolated the first strain of the virus.

The development has come after Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday warned during a meeting that the spread of the deadly illness was accelerating amid a fast-rising death toll.

Also read: Chinese city of Wuhan to build hospital in 6 days to treat coronavirus patients

The first case of death due to coronavirus was reported from Shanghai, one of the biggest cities in China.

The pandemic has triggered panic across the country with the authorities scrambling to stop its further outbreak.

Media reports quoted the National Health Commission as saying that the disease has infected a total of 1,975 people so far.

In its latest report, the National Health Commission said on Saturday, 15 deaths and 688 new cases were reported.

Some 324 patients were said to be serious, while 49 have been discharged from hospitals after recovery.

In the Hubei province, the disease was first reported in its capital Wuhan where 52 people have died.

In order to treat the patients infected with coronavirus, the Chinese city of Wuhan has started work to build a new hospital within six days.

Health authorities have carried out checkups on nearly 23,500 people who have come into close contact with infected persons.

According to the official daily Global Times, the authorities have started cleaning and disinfection efforts in the metro and bus terminals in Beijing where at least 51 cases of the so-called “Wuhan pneumonia” have been reported.

Earlier, Hubei province and other major cities were locked down to prevent the spread of the disease.

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