China’s NHC reports 5,090 new coronavirus cases for Thursday

  • China’s NHC reports 5,090 new coronavirus cases for Thursday

China’s NHC reports 5,090 new coronavirus cases for Thursday

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.

The death toll from the virus in Hubei province also jumped by a record 242 fatalities on Thursday, more than doubling the previous record number of 103 deaths set on Monday.

World Health Organization figures released earlier on Thursday had shown China reporting a total of 46,550 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began in December.

Hubei has started using a broader definition to diagnose people, which accounts for most of the rise in cases.

On Thursday, following the release of the new figures, Chinese state media announced that the party secretary of Hubei province, Jiang Chaoliang, was sacked and would be replaced by the mayor of Shanghai, Ying Yong.

Some 55,748 people are now undergoing treatment, while 1,380 people have died of the flu-like virus that emerged in Hubei province's capital, Wuhan, in December.

A further 44 cases were reported on the Diamond Princess cruise ship at dock in Japan, bringing the total to 219, although authorities said some elderly passengers would finally be allowed to disembark on Friday.

Although people in Hubei were expected to return to work Friday after an extended Lunar New Year holiday from late January, the province on Thursday extended the break by another week until next Thursday.

China also appointed new high-level officials in Hubei and Wuhan.

The capital city of Wuhan reported 3,910 new infections and 88 new deaths on Thursday.

Almost 64,000 people are now recorded as having been made ill by the virus in China, with the last two days showing a steep rise after a change in diagnostic methods.

Among the deaths, 116 were in Hubei Province, two in Heilongjiang, and one in Anhui, Henan and Chongqing respectively, according to the National Health Commission. The death toll rises by 121 to 1,380.

"It is not clear if the problem up to now, on this issue, was lack of transparency or simply bad medical practice", Crane said.

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. There are now several hundred coronavirus cases in 27 countries outside of China. Vietnam has confirmed 16 cases, a lot of them in the province.

A CCTV reporter stands near the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, February 13, 2020, in Yokohama, near Tokyo. The Westerdam cruise ship anchored Thursday off Cambodia for health checks on its 2,200 passengers and crew.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters five of the patients who were already sent to hospitals for isolation and treatment of COVID-19 have severe symptoms and are on artificial respirators or under intensive care.

Thailand refused to allow the Westerdam to dock this week after it had already been turned away by the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan and Guam over virus concerns.