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February 20, 2020

China coronavirus: 254 new deaths, nearly 15K fresh cases

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The death toll in China’s novel coronavirus outbreak has spiked to 1,367 with 254 new fatalities, the highest for a single day, reported mostly from the worst-affected Hubei province while the confirmed cases of infection jumped to nearly 60,000, health officials said on Thursday.

IMAGE: A Chinese security guard wears a protective mask as he waits to take temperatures while standing next to a sign instructing people to wear masks, at a nearly empty commercial street in Beijing, China. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

The Hubei province, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus, reported a record 242 new deaths and nearly 15,000 fresh cases in a single day on Wednesday, the fastest jump in the daily count since the virus outbreak was first identified in December.


The total deaths from the more than two-month-old outbreak as reported on Thursday stood at 1,367, with the total number of confirmed cases mounting to 59,804, health officials were quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Chinese health authorities on Thursday said that they received reports of 15,152 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 254 deaths on Wednesday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

Among the deaths, 242 were in Hubei Province, according to Mi Feng, a spokesperson with the National Health Commission.

The change in categorisation appeared to push forward the process to a doctors’ on-the-spot diagnosis rather than waiting for the results of laboratory tests, it said.

Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, has reported 14,840 new coronavirus cases, including 13,332 clinically diagnosed cases on Wednesday, the local Health Commission said.

The Hubei health commission said the adjustment in the calculation has been made to give those who have been clinically diagnosed with the timely standard treatment of confirmed cases, the report said.

Until Tuesday, the virus outbreak has claimed 1,115 lives with 97 new fatalities reported mostly in the worst-affected Hubei province while the confirmed cases of infection jumped to 44,763, the state-run media reported.

The number of confirmed cases abroad rose to 440 with one death so far in the Philippines. Japan reported the highest number of 203 cases with a majority of them from a cruise ship in which two Indian crew on board tested positive for the coronavirus.

A 15-member team of specialists of World Health Organisation is currently in China assisting the local health officials in containing the virus.

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