The number of people who have been infected by a new coronavirus across China, has reached 11,791 with 259 patients having died from the disease, the National Health Commission said on Saturday.

"As of midnight on 31 January [16:00 GMT Friday], the National Health Commission received information about 11,791 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by a new type of coronavirus from 31 provinces [regions and municipalities].

Some 1,795 people are in critical condition, 259 have died, and 243 people have been discharged from hospitals", the commission said in a statement.

There are 17,988 more suspected cases of the new coronavirus. Over 2,100 new cases have been confirmed within the past 24 hours, according to the commission.

The new strain of coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Hubei Province in December and has since spread to more than 20 countries. On Friday, the first two cases of the new coronavirus were recorded in Russia: in the Zabaykalsky Territory and the Tyumen Region.