Alibaba, the first major Chinese company to report quarterly earnings since the emergence of the coronavirus, said Thursday that the outbreak "is having significant impact on China's economy. potentially affecting the global economy".
"We are a little disappointed that we haven't been invited in and we're a little disappointed in the lack of transparency coming from the Chinese", Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, told reporters.
Saturday marks the second day the number of new cases fell since a spike Thursday, when the hardest-hit province of Hubei began including clinical diagnoses in its official count.
China's National Health Commission said Friday that 121 more people have died from the new coronavirus, bringing the death toll to almost 1,400.
Liang Tao, vice chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said at a Saturday briefing that Chinese banks have provided more than 537 billion yuan ($76.9 billion) in credit support to industries such as retail, catering and tourism that have been most severely affected by the outbreak. But Fan Yifei, vice governor of the People's Bank of China, said he believes "large-scale inflation will never happen" in the country.
At least 1,519 people have now died from the outbreak that first emerged in Hubei's capital, Wuhan, in December and snowballed into a nationwide epidemic a month later.
Officials said the change was necessary to ensure that patients get treated early amid reports of backlogs in lab tests. Out of the 5,090 new cases, 3,095 were diagnosed in this manner.
China's National Health Commission also reported 2,641 new cases of the COVID-19, with the vast majority in hard-hit central Hubei province.
Chinese scientists are testing two antiviral drugs and preliminary results are expected in weeks, while the head of a Wuhan hospital said that plasma infusions from recovered patients had shown some encouraging preliminary results.
Authorities have placed some 56 million people in Hubei under quarantine since late last month, in an unprecedented effort to stop the new coronavirus from spreading.
Under criticism over the handling of the crisis, the Communist Party sacked two top-ranking officials in Hubei, and replaced them with senior cadres with security backgrounds.
Some cities in Hubei tightened restrictions this week, sealing off neighborhoods in what they liken to "war-time" measures. Checkpoints were established in Son Loi, located northwest of the capital of Hanoi.
The United States will evacuate some Americans from a cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, being held in quarantine in Japan, which has become the biggest cluster of coronavirus infections outside China, the Wall Street Journal reported.