Virus Deaths Spike, Cases Soar With New Protocol

NBC News reports:

China’s Hubei province, the center of the coronavirus outbreak, reported a stark rise in the number of new cases Thursday, dashing hopes that the epidemic may have been slowing down. Health officials in Hubei reported 14,840 new cases, most of them in Wuhan.

The province also said another 242 people had died from the coronavirus Wednesday, bringing the total there to 1,310. Tuesday’s death toll in the province was 1068. This took the total number of deaths in mainland China to 1,367, an increase on the 1,113 figure reported Wednesday.

Across mainland China, there were 15,152 new confirmed infections on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases to 59,805, a significant jump that’s sure to raise concerns about the true scale of the epidemic in China.

The Associated Press reports:

In breaking down the large number of new cases in China, National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said Hubei had adopted a revised diagnosis and treatment plan aimed at accelerating the identification and treatment of patients.

That adds a “clinical diagnosis case” classification to identify suspected cases who appear to have pneumonia so that patients can be accepted as soon as possible and treated as confirmed cases, Mi said, adding that should “reduce severe illness and mortality.”

World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said the agency is seeking more clarity from China on the updates to its case definition and reporting protocol.