REUTERS

The National Health Commission said on its website that 2,656 new cases were confirmed. This brings the total number to 37,198 in mainland China, CNBC said.

At the same time, a total of 2,649 people were discharged from hospitals after recovery. At the end of Saturday, 6,188 patients in mainland China were in serious condition.

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Meanwhile, China's National Health Commission urged medical professionals to make "reasonable use" of protection gear and warned against their "excessive and disorderly use," according to a Reuters translation.

The World Health Organization has warned against the hoarding of such gear, which includes masks, gowns and gloves, and said there could be a chronic shortage. In late January, UNICEF sent a six-tonne shipment of respiratory masks and protective suits to health workers in China to help protect them.