Sharp increase in coronavirus deaths and cases



Some 242 deaths from the new coronavirus were recorded in the Chinese province of Hubei on Wednesday – the deadliest day of the outbreak. There was also a huge increase in the number of cases, with 14,840 people diagnosed with the virus.

Hubei has started using a broader definition to diagnose people – which accounts for most of the rise in cases. Until Wednesday’s increases, the number of people diagnosed in Hubei – where the outbreak emerged – was stabilising. But the new cases and deaths in the province have pushed the national death toll above 1,350 – with almost 60,000 cases in total. The province – which accounts for more than 80% of overall Chinese infections – now includes “clinically diagnosed cases” in the number of confirmed cases. This means it includes those showing symptoms, and having a CT scan showing the infected lung – rather than relying only on the standard nucleic acid tests. Of the 242 new deaths in Wuhan, 135 are such “clinically diagnosed” cases. That means, even without the new definition, the number of deaths in Hubei on Wednesday was 107 – a new high for the province.

The province’s 14,840 new infections include 13,332 clinically diagnosed cases. Overall, the province now has 48,206 confirmed infections.

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