There are more than 17,000 confirmed cases of corona virus in China, with 361 deaths, and more than 150 in other countries, with one death in the Philippines.
The number of deaths in China, excluding Hong Kong, now exceeds the 349 killed on the mainland in the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2002-03.
The new coronavirus causes severe acute respiratory infection and symptoms usually start with a fever, followed by a dry cough.
The outbreak took its toll on Chinese shares when financial markets reopened on Monday following the Lunar New Year holiday. The Shanghai Composite index closed nearly 8% lower, its biggest daily drop for more than four years.
A standing committee meeting, chaired by President Xi Jinping, said lessons had to be learned from what had been a “big test” of China’s governance system.
He said “In response to the shortcomings and deficiencies that were exposed responding to this epidemic, we must improve our national emergency management system and improve our abilities in handling urgent and dangerous tasks,” the report said.
One area to be tackled is the trade in illegal wildlife, which should be “resolutely banned”, while supervision of markets should be strengthened.
It is thought a market in the city of Wuhan was the source of the viral outbreak. On Monday, a study by a Chinese virologist said bats were the likely source.
The increase in fatalities announced on Monday – 57- is the largest in a single day since the virus was detected late last year. All but one was in Wuhan’s Hubei province.
Wuhan has seen the speedy construction of two new hospitals, although they are not yet fully operational.