China virus death toll nears 1,400, six health workers among victims

The number of reported cases has been rising more quickly after the hardest-hit province changed its method of counting them Thursday.

More than 5,000 new cases were reported on Friday, dampening hopes that the virus will soon be contained and leading to calls from senior officials to step up quarantine measures similar to the draconian lockdown of Wuhan. Meanwhile, a World Health Organization official said the spike in the number of cases reported does not represent a significant change in the trajectory of the outbreak.

Shanghai's Mayor Ying Yong attends a news conference after the annual session of the local parliament in Shanghai, China, Jan. 20, 2017.

Provincial Communist Party boss Jiang Chaoliang was sacked as secretary of the Hubei Provincial Committee, and Ma Guoqiang removed as party chief in Wuhan, state media said.

The outbreak has exposed 'shortcomings, ' Xi acknowledged, adding that China needed to reform its public health and epidemic prevention and control systems.

When the coronavirus struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the start of the year, no-one could have predicted the impact it would have.

A CCTV reporter stands near the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, February 13, 2020, in Yokohama, near Tokyo. Across mainland China, there were 15,152 new confirmed infections on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 59,805. This means that people have shown clinical symptoms of the new disease, but are yet to be tested positive. The Westerdam cruise ship anchored Thursday off Cambodia for health checks on its 2,200 passengers and crew.

Meanwhile, another cruise ship, the Westerdam, finally anchored off the waters of Cambodia Thursday after being at sea for almost two weeks.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen greeted the passengers with handshakes and bouquets of roses as they stepped off the ship and boarded a waiting bus. It had anchored offshore earlier to allow officials to board and collect samples from passengers with any signs of illness.

The overall death toll due to coronavirus increased to 1,380 in China at the end of Thursday, with 63,851 confirmed cases, the commission said.

The village of Son Lai in Vinh Phuc province was quarantined after Vietnam's 16th case was confirmed in a 50-year-old man.

The CDC's COVIS-19 FAQ page cites understanding of the SARS and MERS viruses as guidance: "There is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures".

The online newspaper VN Express says the man's daughter was infected.

A Vietnamese health official wearing a protective suit amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak sprays disinfectant on a motorcyle at a checkpoint in Son Loi commune in Vinh Phuc province on Thursday.

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