China has recorded no new cases of Covid-19 in the virus epicentre Wuhan or in the surrounding Hubei province, officials said.

Wuhan had previously reported thousands of new cases of coronavirus infection daily, overwhelming its health care system.

The country's health ministry said early on Thursday that results over the past 24 hours showed 34 new cases, all detected in people arriving from abroad.

Eight new deaths were reported, all in Wuhan.

Of those new cases of infection, 21 were in Beijing, nine in the southern manufacturing centre Guangdong, two in Shanghai and one each in coastal Zhejiang and Heilongjing in the far north-east.

The country has now recorded a total of 80,928 confirmed virus cases with 3,245 deaths. Another 70,420 people have been released from hospital and 7,263 remain in treatment.

Looking closer to home, the Department of Health England announced 71 deaths in the UK yesterday following the increasing spread of the virus up and down the country. 

Hampshire is currently the county with the largest number of active Covid-19 cases outside of the capital with 55 diagnosed with the virus at the time of publication. 

Last week, Basingstoke saw its first death from the coronavirus after an 82-year-old man and a 78-year-old woman passed away at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital.

However, more than 84,000 people overall have recovered from the virus, which causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as a fever and cough in most cases.

Severe illness is more likely in the elderly and those with existing health problems.