HONG KONG—Prisons emerged as a new flashpoint in the fast-spreading coronavirus as three Chinese provinces reported outbreaks at penitentiaries on Friday, adding hundreds of previously unpublished cases to the official tally.

The new increase in cases in China’s prison system has sparked worries about the rapid spread of the virus in clusters, while resurfacing concerns about undercounting. It also prompted the removal of officials overseeing the prisons, which are in the coastal provinces of Zhejiang and Shandong and the…

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