Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday declared a "people's war" on the coronavirus outbreak, whose death toll grows by the day.
"The whole country has responded with all its strength to respond with the most thorough and strict prevention and control measures, starting a people's war for epidemic prevention and control," China's state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying.
Officials in Hubei province, where the outbreak began, reported 69 new deaths early Friday, pushing the total number of fatalities from the virus past 600. They also reported 2,500 new cases, taking that number to more than 30,000.
The World Health Organization said it was too early to confirm one Chinese official's belief that the outbreak was about to peak.
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