Published: Fri, February 14, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

China coronavirus toll increases to 1380

China coronavirus toll increases to 1380

The World Health Organisation's (WHO) emergencies chief said on Thursday that a new way of confirming COVID-19 cases adopted in China's Hubei province should allow clinicians to report cases more quickly and get people care faster.

China has reported another sharp rise in the number of people infected with COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, as the death toll neared 1,400.

"It is our current understanding that the new case definition widens the net, and includes not only lab-confirmed cases but also clinically diagnosed cases based on symptoms and exposure", World Health Organization spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told Reuters.

Paul Hunter, a professor of health protection at the University of East Anglia in England, expressed frustration with the revised numbers from China, but said he believed it did not represent an increase in the rate of infections.

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Hubei province is now including cases based on a doctor's diagnosis and before they have been confirmed by laboratory tests.

The National Health Commission said the new criteria would only apply to Hubei. The NHC did not account for a discrepancy of one case, as it had reported that the total accumulated number as of Tuesday was 44,653.

Almost 47,000 cases have been confirmed globally, more than 46,000 of which were reported in China.

Four men held over killing of N.Ireland journalist
Outside court, supporters of the 52-year-old held placards saying he is a "political hostage" and a "British scapegoat". An application for bail was adjourned, and Mr McIntyre was remanded in custody until 27 February.


In Vietnam, official media reported a village of 10,000 north-west of the capital, Hanoi, was put in lockdown due to a cluster of cases there.

Checkpoints were set up around the commune, according to AFP reporters in a district on the outskirts of Son Loi.

"While the Chinese authorities are doing their best to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the fairly drastic measures they have implemented to date would appear to have been too little, too late", he said.

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine claimed a woman who wasn't showing symptoms triggered a chain of coronavirus infections. The province is at the epicenter of the outbreak.

Passengers leave MS Westerdam, a cruise ship that spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries over fears that someone aboard might have the coronavirus, after it docks in Sihanoukville. No cases of the viral illness have been confirmed among its 1,455 passengers and 802 crew members, according to operator Holland America Line.

A cruise liner quarantined off a Japanese port has more than 200 people confirmed with the disease.

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.

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