BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese health authorities announced Thursday that 571 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) had been reported in 25 provincial-level regions in the country by the end of Wednesday.
A total of 393 suspected cases have been reported, according to the National Health Commission (NHC).
The pneumonia situation had resulted in 17 deaths, all in central China's Hubei Province. Those who died from the disease were reported to be between the ages 48 and 89, according to the commission.
It added that most of the patients who died had underlying health issues such as cirrhosis, diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.
Overseas, the regions of Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, as well as in the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea have confirmed one case each, with Thailand confirming three.
A total of 5,897 close contacts have been traced, the commission said, adding that among them, 4,928 are under medical observation while 969 others have been discharged.
The NHC has been updating the prevention and control plan for pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus.
Based on the current knowledge, the incubation period of the virus, the interval between infection to onset of symptoms, can be as long as about 14 days, according to the second version of the prevention and control plan released Wednesday by the NHC.
Meanwhile, the general office of the NHC and the office of the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine jointly issued the third trial version of the diagnosis and treatment plan Thursday.
The updated plan covers the etiology characteristics of the virus, the clinical characteristics of the outbreak, related case definition and diagnosis, as well as discovery and reporting of cases. It also offers treatment plans including those with traditional Chinese medicine.