China coronavirus toll exceeds 1,300 as Hubei reports 242 deaths

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Desk report, Feb 13: Health officials in China’s hard-hit central province of Hubei reported that 242 more people died from the coroanvirus COVID-19 on Wednesday – the highest in a single day and more than twice the previous record high – pushing the death toll across the country above 1,300.The province’s health commission also reported a huge jump in new cases, saying a further 14,840 people had been confirmed with the infection over the 24-hour period to midnight on Wednesday (16:00 GMT).

Health officials in Hubei province said 242 people had died from the flu-like virus on Wednesday, the fastest rise in the daily count since the pathogen was identified in December, and bringing the total number of deaths in the province to 1,310. The previous record rise in the toll was 103 on February 10.

Hubei is at the centre of the outbreak, which is thought to have originated in a now-closed seafood market in the capital of Wuhan late last year.

In a statement, the commission said that it had begun including cases diagnosed through new clinical methods, and had revised its old data and suspected cases. The latest death toll included more than 100 clinically diagnosed cases.

State media said last week that Hubei would start recognising computerised tomography (CT) scan results as confirmation of infections, allowing hospitals to isolate patients more quickly.

Total cases in the province have now reached 48,206, the commission data showed.

China’s national health commission is expected to provide an update on countrywide infections later on Thursday.

At least 25 countries have confirmed cases of the virus and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei. Two deaths have been recorded outside mainland China – one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.

Source: News Agencies