"After arduous efforts, the situation is changing for the better", Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a meeting with Southeast Asian counterparts in Laos late on Wednesday, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Dozens of Ukrainians evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan at the heart of the novel coronavirus outbreak were welcomed home on Thursday by an angry mob who smashed windows on buses carrying the evacuees, police and local media reported.
Earlier this month, officials from Heilongjiang province in northeast China announced that 13 people who had tested positive for the virus with a lab test but who had no symptoms had been removed from the region's list of confirmed cases.
Passengers departing: The Diamond Princess passengers are expected to continue leaving the cruise ship today, after going through 14 days of quarantine onboard.
China's National Health Commission (NHC) said the new confirmed cases declined to 394, registering the biggest drop since December when the first case was reported in Wuhan city in the central Hubei Province.
Newly reported infections in China have trended downward in recent days, though changes in how health authorities have counted cases have muddied the true trajectory of the epidemic.
Inspectors in protective suits went door-to-door Wednesday in Wuhan searching for every infected person.
The mayor of Daegu, South Korea's fourth-largest city, urged residents to stay indoors after a spike in infections linked to a church congregation.
"63,126 people are still under medical observation", the statement said.
Tedros said there had been 92 cases of human-to-human spread of the coronavirus in 12 countries outside China but the World Health Organization did not have the data to make meaningful comparisons to what was going on in China.
That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Hubei to 62,031.
A WHO-led global mission now in China ― which Chen described as a "joint venture" ― was visiting several provinces and a stop in the outbreak's epicentre, Wuhan, a city in Hubei province, was "under consideration", he said.
The outbreak revealed that some departments had "poorly applied their duties, their work was not stable and epidemic prevention measures are inaccurate", stated Yu Chenghe, deputy secretary-general of Shandong provincial authorities.
More than 74,000 people have been infected by the new virus in China and hundreds more in over 25 countries, with Iran reporting two deaths on Wednesday, the first fatalities in the Middle East. Nine deaths have been confirmed outside the mainland - three in Japan, two in Hong Kong and one each in France, the Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan.