China replaces Hubei, Wuhan party leaders

Clay Curtis
February 13, 2020

To date, all but two deaths - in the Philippines and Hong Kong - have occurred in mainland China and China also accounts for about 99 per cent of those infected.

Under criticism at home over the handling of the crisis, China's Communist Party sacked two top-ranking officials in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak.

China drew global condemnation for covering up cases during the 2002-03 SARS outbreak, whereas the World Health Organization has praised measures taken by Beijing to combat COVID-19.

Although provincial authorities have not provided additional details about the new criteria for accounting for patients, the new measures will allow "patients to receive timely treatment", the commission said in a statement.

That adds a "clinical diagnosis case" classification to identify suspected cases who appear to have pneumonia so that patients can be accepted as soon as possible and treated as confirmed cases, Mi said, adding that should "reduce severe illness and mortality".

The reports did not give a reason for the dismissals but the two are the most high-profile Chinese officials to be removed from duty following the coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan late a year ago.

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

Most of the cases have been in Hubei, where about 56 million people have been placed under virtual quarantine.

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During the farm visit she will also meet young children from two local nurseries and families who have benefited from the work of the charity.

Hubei and Wuhan officials held important political meetings in the first weeks of January. Out of the 14,840 new cases confirmed, 13,332 were clinically diagnosed, i.e. diagnosed based on signs and symptoms rather than laboratory examination or medical imaging.

"The jump in cases today reflects the broader definition", he said.

In other news on the coronavirus, experts from the World Health Organisation arrived in China to assist with controlling the epidemic.

In Vietnam, official media reported that a village of 10,000 northwest of the capital, Hanoi, was put in lockdown due to a cluster of cases there.

It said doctors would now be more able to confirm cases.

A cruise ship, with more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board, which was turned away by five countries on fears that someone aboard may be infected with coronavirus, was accepted by Cambodia.

The Westerdam began its cruise in Singapore last month and its last stop before it was refused further landings was in Hong Kong, where 51 cases of the viral disease have been confirmed.

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