People wearing protective facemasks are checked for body temperature by security guards (right) outside a nearly empty shopping mall at lunch time in Beijing on Feb 22, 2020. (NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP)
BEIJING - Chinese health authority Sunday said it received reports of 648 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 97 deaths on Saturday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
The overall confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland had reached 76,936 by the end of Saturday, and 2,442 people had died of the disease
Among the deaths, 96 were in Hubei Province and one in Guangdong Province, according to the National Health Commission (NHC).
Another 882 new suspected cases were reported Saturday, said the commission.
Also on Saturday, 2,230 people were discharged from hospital after recovery, while the number of severe cases decreased by 509 to 10,968.
The overall confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland had reached 76,936 by the end of Saturday, and 2,442 people had died of the disease.
The commission added that 4,148 people were still suspected of being infected with the virus.
A total of 22,888 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery.
The commission said 628,517 close contacts had been traced, adding that among them, 22,128 were discharged from medical observation Saturday, with 106,089 others still under medical observation.
By the end of Saturday, 69 confirmed cases including two deaths had been reported in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), 10 confirmed cases in the Macao SAR, and 26 in Taiwan including one death.
Eleven patients in Hong Kong, six in Macao and two in Taiwan have been discharged from hospital after recovery.
Eighteen confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection reported Saturday on the mainland are from outside Hubei, said Mi Feng, spokesperson for the NHC, at a Sunday press conference, adding that provincial-level areas outside Hubei either saw less than five new confirmed cases or reported no confirmed cases Saturday.
Mi also noted that 16 provincial-level areas and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps on the Chinese mainland reported no new confirmed cases for two consecutive days.
The daily number of new confirmed cases outside Hubei dropped from 890 at its peak to 18 Saturday, showing a fluctuating downward trend on the mainland, said the spokesperson.
He reminded the public to continue epidemic control efforts while resuming work and production, and reduce unnecessarily going out in public.
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