Coronavirus death toll leaps, communist party chiefs removed amid epidemic

China's Hubei province reports surge in daily coronavirus deaths jump in new cases

China's Hubei province reports surge in daily coronavirus deaths jump in new cases

On Wednesday, Hubei province reported a total of 242 deaths, the largest single day increase, according to Mi. Chinese state media tabloid Global Times reported that an "inspection" was carried out by the central government in Hubei and "a number of local officials have been questioned and punished for failing to fulfill their duties in the prevention and control work".

The reports did not give a reason for the dismissals but the two are the most high-profile Chinese officials to be removed from duty following the coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan late a year ago.

The outbreak is suspected to have originated in the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan in December.

People wearing masks are seen at a shopping mall in downtown Shanghai, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, Wednesday.

But it has faced continued scepticism among the global public, and United States officials have also called for more openness from China's Communist Party rulers, leading to fears that there may be similarities with the way it dealt with SARS.

The patient was among 232 people under quarantine at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar after being airlifted out of Wuhan earlier this month, CDC spokeswoman Ana Toro said.

These were the details of the news China's Hubei province reports surge in daily coronavirus deaths, jump in new cases for this day.

Hubei had previously only allowed infection to be confirmed by RNA tests, which can take days to process and delay treatment.

Two of Hubei's senior health officials were also removed Monday.

The provincial health commission said last week that it would begin recognizing computerized tomography (CT) scan results as confirmation of infections, allowing hospitals to isolate patients more quickly.

"Presumably, there are deaths which occurred in people who did not have a lab diagnosis but did have a CT. It is important that these also be counted", she told Reuters. Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong will replace the provincial head, while Wang Zhonglin, the party chief in Jinan, will take on the mantle in Wuhan.

Hundreds of cases have been reported in dozens of countries and territories around the world, including one fatality in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the virus poses a "grave threat" to the world, with chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, saying the virus could have "more powerful consequences than any terrorist action".

Test kits for the virus are in short supply around the world, creating a backlog, and available kits are not sensitive enough to pick up whether a person was infected and healed.

Another 44 people aboard a cruise ship that has been quarantined for over a week in Japan's Yokohama harbor tested positive for coronavirus Thursday, Japanese health officials said.

Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, remains under virtual lockdown, and other major Chinese cities are facing severe travel restrictions.

Thailand said it was barring passengers from another cruise ship, MS Westerdam, from disembarking, the latest country to turn it away amid fears of the coronavirus despite no confirmed infections on board.

The Mobile World Congress, an annual telecoms industry gathering that draws more than 100,000 visitors to Barcelona, was cancelled on Wednesday after a mass exodus by exhibitors due to coronavirus-related concerns.

Hong Kong extended the suspension of schools till at least March 16 in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the city, where 50 cases have been confirmed.

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