BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese health authorities announced Saturday that 11,791 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection had been reported in 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps by the end of Friday. A total of 259 people have died of the disease.
The National Health Commission said in its daily report that 1,795 patients remained in critical condition, and 17,988 people were suspected of being infected with the virus as of the end of Friday.
A total of 243 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery.
Friday saw 2,102 new confirmed cases, 5,019 new suspected cases, and 46 deaths -- 45 in Hubei Province and one in Chongqing Municipality.
Also on Friday, 268 patients became seriously ill, and 72 people were discharged from hospital after recovery.
A total of 136,987 close contacts had been traced, the commission said, adding that among them, 6,509 were discharged from medical observation on Friday, with 118,478 others still under medical observation.
By the end of Friday, 13 confirmed cases had been reported in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, seven in Macao Special Administrative Region and ten in Taiwan.