China coronavirus toll exceeds 1 300 as Hubei reports 242 deaths

2020-02-13 09:51
People dressed in protective clothes disinfect an area in Wuhan, in Hubei province. The World Health Organisation has declared the virus a global health emergency. (Hector Retman/AFP).

People dressed in protective clothes disinfect an area in Wuhan, in Hubei province. The World Health Organisation has declared the virus a global health emergency. (Hector Retman/AFP).

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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 repeated 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 at 16:00.

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 will 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 shortly.

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.

Read more on:    china  |  coronavirus  |  sars virus
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