The death toll from the coronavirus known as Covid-19 in mainland China has risen by 142 to 1,665.
Chinese authorities also reported the number of new cases has fallen for the third straight day to 2,009.
The number of people infected globally stands at 68,500, according to the country’s National Health Commission.
1,665 Death toll from Covid-19 in mainland China.
Since the outbreak began in December, it has spread to more than 24 countries and prompted sweeping prevention measures from the Chinese government, including a lockdown of cities with a combined population of more than 60 million.
Many countries have also placed travel restrictions on recent visitors to China.
After Chinese President Xi Jinping played a muted public role in the early days of the epidemic, state media published on Saturday a speech President Xi delivered on February 3 in which he said he gave instructions on fighting the virus as early as January 7.
The disclosure indicates top leaders were aware of the outbreak’s potential severity well before such dangers were made known to the public.
It was not until late January that officials said the virus can spread between humans and public alarm began to rise.
In his speech, the Chinese president also revealed that he ordered a lockdown of the virus epicenter of Wuhan in the Hubei province: “On January 22, in light of the epidemic’s rapid spread and the challenges of prevention and control, I made a clear request that Hubei province implement comprehensive and stringent controls over the outflow of people.”
On January 23, Wuhan became the first city to impose an unprecedented halt on outbound transportation.