Coronavirus death toll leaps in Hubei

Coronavirus death toll leaps in Hubei

Coronavirus death toll leaps in Hubei

A couple wear protective masks as they embrace each other on February 11 in Wuhan, Hubei province, China.

"One further patient in England has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total number of cases in the United Kingdom to nine", Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England said in a statement.

The Health Commission for Hubei Province has explained that the province recently conducted investigations on suspected cases and revised the diagnosis results, and newly diagnosed patients were diagnosed according to the new diagnosis classification.

The province reported a dramatic spike in virus cases Thursday, raising the total number of nationwide infections to almost 60,000 after Hubei authorities changed the way they count infections - fuelling fears over a lack of transparency.

Tens of millions of others cities far from the epicentre are also enduring travel restrictions.

Hubei's two top health officials had already been sacked this week.

It could also lead to a spike in the death toll, according to Raina McIntyre, head of biosecurity research at the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

"Oddly, this now is a moment of greater transparency", Sam Crane, political science professor at Williams College in MA, told AFP.

Jiang Chaoliang removed as Hubei secretary.

The grim new tally came a day after China had reported its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in two weeks, bolstering a forecast by Beijing's senior medical adviser for the outbreak to end by April.

"I don't think the numbers are necessarily manipulated for political purposes but the numbers themselves may not be so trustworthy", Yun told AFP.

United Airlines said late on Wednesday it would extend cancellations of all U.S. flights to China until late April because of the coronavirus, joining other USA carriers that have suspended China routes. There are now several hundred coronavirus cases in 27 countries outside of China.

The outbreak has wreaked havoc on global events, too.

As he was speaking, organisers announced the cancellation of the 2020 Mobile World Congress, due to be held in Barcelona this month, due to "global concern" over the infection.

The epidemic has threatened to harm the Chinese economy, the world's second-largest, with ANZ bank warning that China's first-quarter GDP growth would slow to 3.2-4.0 percent, down from a previous projection of 5.0 percent.

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