BEIJING, Feb 6 (APP)::The novel coronavirus cases on the Chinese mainland have reached 28,018 while a total of 563 people have died of the disease so far, according to China National Health Commission on Thursday.

It added that 3,859 patients remained in severe condition, and 24,702 people were suspected of being infected with the virus. A total of 1,153 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery.

The commission received reports of 3,694 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 73 deaths on Wednesday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

Among the deaths, 70 were in Hubei Province, one in Tianjin, one in Heilongjiang and one in Guizhou, according to China’s National Health Commission.

Another 5,328 new suspected cases were reported on Wednesday, said the commission.

Also on Wednesday, 640 patients became seriously ill, and 261 people were discharged from hospital after recovery.

The commission said 282,813 close contacts had been traced, adding that among them, 21,365 were discharged from medical observation on Wednesday, with 186,354 others still under medical observation.

By the end of Wednesday, 21 confirmed cases had been reported in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), including one death, 10 in the Macao SAR and 11 in Taiwan.

It may be mentioned here that the prevailing pneumonia outbreak was first reported in the city of Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province in December. Experts have attributed the outbreak to a novel coronavirus that has since spread across China and abroad.