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Coronoavirus: China striggles as 242 more deaths are reported

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.

World Health Organization has said the number of cases of infection with the new coronavirus in China has stabilized, but the apparent slowdown in the epidemic spread should be viewed with extreme caution.

The UN health agency has cautioned it was way too early to say whether coronavirus might have peaked or when it might end.

At the end of a two-day meeting on science and innovation into measures to tackle the new viral outbreak, the WHO Chief said a WHO-led advance team that travelled to China earlier this week had made good progress on the composition and scope of its work.

Tedros also praised Cambodia for agreeing to take in a US cruise ship that has been rejected at several Asian ports over coronavirus fears.

The MS Westerdam, which Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Guam and the Philippines had refused to let dock over fears one of its 1,455 passengers and 802 crew might have the virus, would now be allowed into port in Cambodia.
 

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