REUTERS

The announcement on Saturday came as China reported a drop in new infections – from 889 a day earlier to 397, South China Morning Post reported.

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The National Health Commission said that another 109 people had died in mainland China, taking the death toll to 2,345.

In all, the country has reported 76,288 cases of the virus.

The commission also said 2,393 patients were discharged from hospital on Friday, with 20,659 recovered in total.

There were also 1,361 new suspected cases, compared with 1,641 a day earlier.

Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 366 new confirmed cases and 106 new deaths – most of them in the provincial capital, Wuhan. One confirmed case was reported in a prison.