Australian health officials tested a passenger onboard another cruise ship that docked in Sydney harbor for a "respiratory illness" on Friday, causing passengers to fret about the potential of another shipboard outbreak of the coronavirus.
Hundreds of infections have been reported in more than two dozen other countries and territories, but only two people have died from the virus outside mainland China - one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.
The changes in detection methods have boosted the number of total confirmed cases across China to about 60,000, and by an additional 15,000 to more than 48,000 in Hubei province, where the death toll was raised by 242.
But only three deaths have been reported outside China - one in the Philippines, one in Hong Kong, and the latest, an 80-year-old woman, in Japan.
The Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R) and the WHO, a United Nations agency, held a meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday for over 300 of the world's leading public health experts to set priorities and fund research aimed at containing this outbreak and preventing others.
A team of health officials will board the ship to conduct health checks on the 1,455 passengers and 802 crew members before they will be allowed to disembark. Of the 5,090 new cases, 3,095 fell into that category.
A security guard stands outside a plastic tent set up to disinfect people coming in at the entrance of a residential compound, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Beijing, China, on February 13, 2020.
"We thought there was better transparency coming out of China, but it doesn't appear to be", Kudlow said.
Passengers on another cruise ship that spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries over coronavirus fears started disembarking in Cambodia on Friday.
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.
Under new reporting requirements, cases are considered confirmed based on symptoms and a CT scan of the lungs.
A nurse tears up as she talks about the situation in Jinyintan Hospital, designated for critical COVID-19 patients, in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.
"I suspect but can't be certain that the underlying trend is still downwards", said Paul Hunter, a professor of health protection at the University of East Anglia in England.
WHO health emergencies program director Michael Ryan told reporters in Geneva Thursday the new, higher numbers do "not represent a significant change in the trajectory of the outbreak", but rather "a change in how the cases are being reported".
The outbreak, believed to have emerged from a Wuhan market where wildlife was traded illegally, has triggered a backlash against local political leaders.
Provincial Communist Party boss Jiang Chaoliang was sacked as secretary of the Hubei Provincial Committee, and Ma Guoqiang removed as party chief in Wuhan, state media said.
A Vietnamese health official wearing a protective suit amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak sprays disinfectant on a motorcyle at a checkpoint in Son Loi commune in Vinh Phuc province on Thursday.
The world's third-largest economy is already bracing for a sharp slowdown in growth and some analysts expect another contraction in the current quarter as the virus outbreak hurts exports, output and consumption through a sharp drop in overseas tourists.
Harvard, Yale face probe for not reporting foreign gifts
The education department has asked Harvard for all its records relating to the Thousand Talents Plan dating back to January 2012. It also mentions alleged foreign funding of its law school's China Center and Yale's new Jackson School of Global Affairs.