At least 1,355 people have now died nationwide and nearly 60,000 have been infected after Hubei’s health commission reported the new numbers.
Hubei’s health commission confirmed another 14,840 new cases in the central province, where the outbreak emerged in December.
The huge jump came as local officials said they were changing the way they diagnose COVID-19 cases.
In a statement, the Hubei health commission said it would now include cases that were “clinically diagnosed” in its official toll.
This means lung imaging on suspected cases can be considered sufficient to diagnose the virus, rather than the standard nucleic acid tests.
Hubei health commission said the change would mean patients could get treatment “as early as possible” and be “consistent” with the classification used in other provinces.