"As of January 20, the number of confirmed cases of infection with the new type of coronavirus in Wuhan reached 258, a total of 25 people have already been discharged from the hospital, six people have died," Zhou said on China's central television.
He added that at present, 227 people remained under the supervision of doctors in hospitals, of which 51 patients were in serious condition, 12 in critical.
Earlier this week, China's National Health Commission confirmed that the virus, which causes a type of pneumonia, can be transmitted from person-to-person. Following this announcement, the World Health Organisation called for an emergency meeting on Wednesday that will focus on the new coronavirus outbreak.
The virus belongs to the same family of coronaviruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people globally during a 2002/03 outbreak that also started in China.