Coronavirus death toll jumps by record 242 in just one day

Outside of China, the count is 441 cases across 24 countries and one death.

The CCP Central Commission said the number of confirmed patients in virus-stricken Hubei Province increased by a record-setting 14,840 cases on Wednesday (Feb. 12), leading to widespread public anger from Chinese citizens. Chinese state media tabloid Global Times reported that an "inspection" was carried out by the central government in Hubei and "a number of local officials have been questioned and punished for failing to fulfill their duties in the prevention and control work".

Another expert said that while the coronavirus may be peaking in China, this was not the case elsewhere.

"This outbreak could still go in any direction", said World Health Organization director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The death toll in China's Hubei province from a coronavirus outbreak leapt by a record 242 on Thursday to 1,310, with a sharp rise in confirmed cases after the adoption of new methodology for diagnosis, health officials said. Indications that news of Li's death from the disease was also censored by Chinese authorities prompted further outrage on social media. Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong - a former top judge who once served under President Xi Jinping - was named to replace embattled provincial boss, Jiang Chaoliang.

WATCH | Q&A: What is life like inside Wuhan?

China has placed some 56 million in virtual quarantine in Hubei and its capital, Wuhan, since late last month and restricted movements of millions more in cities far from the epicentre in an unprecedented effort to contain the virus.

Officials in Hubei have been heavily criticized for their handling of the epidemic in a province of nearly 60 million people. The outbreak began in Wuhan late a year ago, and has spread throughout China.

Last week, Hubei's health commission said it would begin using CT scans to identify lung infections, which would expedite treatment.

Previous diagnostic methods were restricted to nucleic acid tests, which identify genetic information to detect viruses but can take days to process.

The mysterious virus is indeed spreading "very fast", but the sudden jump in cases has appalled many.

Many countries have implemented travel restrictions on recent visitors to China, which has more than 99% of the world's reported infections.

The online newspaper VN Express cited a senior official of Ving Phuc province as reporting an increase in cases in Son Loi commune. Vietnam has confirmed 16 cases, a lot of them in the province. In Wuhan, people with symptoms like fever and coughing wait for hours in line to get tested.

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine claimed a woman who wasn't showing symptoms triggered a chain of coronavirus infections.

The biggest cluster of cases outside China is on a cruise ship quarantined off the Japanese port of Yokohama, with 175 of about 3,700 people on board having tested positive.

Another cruise ship, the Westerdam, finally docked Thursday in Cambodia after being turned away by several Asian and Pacific governments.

According to the ship's operator, Holland America, none of the 1,400 passengers and 800 crew members were infected with the virus.



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