The toll in the coronavirus epidemic in China has gone up to 2,663 as 71 more deaths were reported on Tuesday, reported AFP. This is the lowest daily fatality figure in more than two weeks.

The National Health Commission reported that 508 new confirmed cases in the country with all, except nine, in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak. On Monday, the commission had reported 408 new confirmed cases.

China withdrew an announcement on Monday that the quarantine in Wuhan would be relaxed. State television CGTN reported that authorities in Wuhan rescinded the declaration made earlier in the day that non-residents may leave if they display no symptoms for coronavirus, and have never had contact with patients.

Beijing has also decided to delay its annual Parliament session for the first time since the country’s Cultural Revolution.

Several provinces in China have reported no new cases for several consecutive days. World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that the epidemic had “peaked” in China between January 23 and February 2 and that a steady decline in the number of new cases had been noted.

However, Canadian doctor Bruce Aylward, who is also leading a joint WHO-China mission of experts, cautioned on Monday that outbreaks in other countries were “increasing at exponential growth rates”. “There’s no question that China’s bold approach to the rapid spread of this new respiratory pathogen has changed the course of what was a rapidly escalating and continues to be a deadly epidemic,” he said, according to The New York Times.

South Korea has reported 60 new cases of the virus on Tuesday, said the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is the lowest increase in four consecutive days. The country now has 893 positive cases, which is the largest total outside China.

A military aircraft carrying relief items to China will bring back Indians from Wuhan city in Hubei province as nearly 100 Indian nationals await evacuation since February 20, reported The Indian Express. “As informed by the Ministry of External Affairs, departure of the Air Force flight to Wuhan is being planned for February 26 and the evacuees will arrive on February 27,” India’s health ministry said on Monday.

A chartered flight will bring back Indian nationals who tested negative for coronavirus aboard the British-flagged cruise ship Diamond Princess, which has been quarantined at a Japanese port since early February, the Indian embassy said on Tuesday.

“A chartered flight is being arranged to repatriate Indian nationals on board Diamond Princess, provided they have (a) consented, (b) not tested positive for COVID19 [official name for coronavirus] (c) cleared by the medical team,” the embassy said in a tweet. “An email advisory to this effect, with details, has been sent to them.”

A fourth person who had tested positive for the coronavirus on the cruise ship has died after being admitted to the hospital, Japanese media reported on Tuesday. Reports claimed the victim was a man in his 80s but provided no other details on him.

In Italy, the seventh death from the novel coronavirus was reported on Monday as authorities appealed for calm. The chief of Italy’s civil protection department Angelo Borelli said that the number of cases stood at 229. This meant that only ten new cases were reported since Monday morning, a slower rate than the past few days.

“I think the numbers that we have registered in Italy and in the rest of the world have been confined to reasonable figures,” Borelli told AFP.