The number of deaths from China's new coronavirus epidemic jumped to 724, surpassing the toll from the SARS outbreak on the mainland and Hong Kong almost two decades ago.
Another 86 people died from the virus, with all but five in hard-hit Hubei province, where the disease emerged in December.
There are now more than 34,500 confirmed infections across China.
Yesterday's death of a 34-year-old Wuhan doctor who was punished for raising the alarm about the virus in December sparked an outpouring of grief and anger over the government's handling of the crisis.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong has begun a mandatory two-week quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland China, in a fresh effort to contain the new coronavirus while Singapore has also imposed similar rules.