Health Care

Novel coronavirus deaths in China top 1300 as country expands diagnosis

Novel coronavirus deaths in China top 1300 as country expands diagnosis”

The sudden jump in numbers came mostly from Hubei province - the epicenter of the epidemic - with an increase of 14,840 confirmed cases, more than nine times the 1,638 new infections reported there a day earlier.

In breaking down the large number of new cases in China, National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said Hubei had adopted a revised diagnosis and treatment plan aimed at accelerating the identification and treatment of patients.

The cruise ship Diamond Princess, where dozens of passengers were tested positive for coronavirus, is seen at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan on February 10, 2020.

Authorities in the central Chinese province of Hubei say 254 more more have died from the new coronavirus and they announced a huge increase in the number of cases.

A worker with sanitizing equipment disinfects an office following an outbreak of the coronavirus in the country, Wednesday.

China reported a massive surge in coronavirus deaths and infections in Hubei province Wednesday-but that didn't mean the disease now known as COVID-19 had become much deadlier overnight.

Hubei had previously only allowed infections to be confirmed by RNA tests, which can take days to process.

Using CT scans that reveal lung infection would help patients receive treatment as soon as possible and improve their chances of recovery, the commission said. "It should have been done earlier", Wuhan resident Wang You told Reuters. "It's politically important for them to get the number right before the new party boss comes in, so that all the new confirmed cases happened under Jiang Chaoliang's watch".

The reports did not give a reason for the dismissals but the two are the most high-profile Chinese officials to be removed from duty following the coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan late previous year.

Asian stock markets wobbled and the safe-havens of the Japanese yen, gold and bonds rose after the new Hubei numbers dashed hopes that the epidemic was stablising and the Chinese economy could bounce back quickly.

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But the World Health Organisation had warned that the apparent slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus epidemic should be treated with "extreme caution".

"This outbreak could still go in any direction", he told reporters.

The change in counting method will renew concern over the effectiveness the tests now used to identify stricken patients globally, and raise questions over the true scale of the outbreak that has killed more than 1,300 people, all but two on mainland China. So far, 219 of about 3,700 people on board have tested positive.

Dr Tedros also praised Cambodia for taking in the Westerdam, a USA cruise ship that had earlier been turned away from ports in Japan, Thailand and Taiwan despite having no sick patients on board. "I thought: Is this real?"

Nearly 34,000 patients have been hospitalized across Hubei, the central Chinese province of which Wuhan is capital, including 1,400 or so in a critical condition.

Across China, more than 60 million people have been affected by an unprecedented lockdown.

Outside of China, the count is 441 cases across 24 countries and one death.

United Airlines said late on Wednesday it would extend cancellations of all U.S. flights to China until late April because of the coronavirus, joining other USA carriers that have suspended China routes.

The outbreak is also wreaking havoc on regional sporting events.

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