- China reported 1,886 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 98 deaths on Monday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. For example, in Zhejiang, over 1,000 confirmed cases were found but no deaths have been reported as of Sunday.
The global death toll now stands at 1,770, with the vast majority of those deaths in mainland China.
Japanese officials, meanwhile, confirmed 99 more people were infected by the new virus aboard the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess, bringing the total to 454.
He also said as more data comes in from China, officials are beginning to understand the outbreak and "how it's developing and where it could be headed".
In the speech, Xi said he gave instructions on fighting the virus on January 7 and ordered the shutdown that began on January 23 of cities at the epicenter of the outbreak.
The fall in new cases follows a spike of more than 15 000 on Thursday when the central province of Hubei adopted a new diagnostic method that includes clinical diagnoses in its official account.
Almost 72,500 people nationwide have been infected by the new COVID-19 strain of the virus, which first emerged in December before spiralling into a nationwide epidemic. In January, an auctioneer was arrested on suspicion of violating the ban implemented on December 4 by selling animals from the northern province, the epicenter of the latest outbreak that led neighboring countries including Zimbabwe to ban South African animal imports. Eighteen have fully recovered and have left hospital.
- Monday saw 1,701 people walk out of hospital after recovery.
Anyone suspected or confirmed to be infected with the virus, their close contacts, or anyone with a fever, should be "timely treated or placed in quarantine instead of self-isolation at home", it said. "It's too early to tell if this reported decline will continue".
The factory, to be converted from an industrial building by China Construction First Group, will be able to turn out 250,000 masks each day, it said, adding that work began on Monday and was set to be completed by Saturday.
The mother of the deceased, who died on Saturday, and a male relative were tested positive, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung told a televised news conference.
Outside China, the ship has the largest number of cases of COVID-19.
The ministry has been carrying out tests on passengers and crew on the ship, docked in Yokohama, a port city near Tokyo.
Hundreds of Americans on board the ship were able to leave Sunday, on a specially-chartered flight organized by the United States government.
"The situation surrounding this virus is changing by the minute", Mr Abe said.
Japan has 518 confirmed cases, including the 454 from the cruise ship, and one death from the virus.
Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said the country was "entering into a phase that is different from before", requiring new steps to stop the spread of the virus.