Coronavirus death toll jumps by record 242 in just one day

Grant Boone
February 13, 2020

The province and the city are battling mounting criticism over the handling of the coronavirus outbreak, particularly the initial response to the health crisis.

Coronavirus should be treated as "public enemy number one" - posing a bigger threat than terrorism, the World Health Organization has warned.

At least 25 countries have confirmed cases and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei.

Airlines say part of the reason is a dramatic drop-off in demand, but the U.S. has also introduced strict restrictions on travellers to the United States who have visited China, barring almost all non-US residents if they have been in China within the previous14 days.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is developing a master plan for coordinating clinical trials that could lead to potential therapies for patients infected with Coronavirus (COVID-19). Vietnam has confirmed 16 cases, majority in the province.

In a statement, the Hubei health commission said it would now include cases that were "clinically diagnosed" in its official toll.

About 56 million people in Hubei and its capital, Wuhan, are being banned from leaving as part of the quarantine efforts.

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But it has faced continued scepticism among the global public, and USA officials have also called for more openness from China's Communist Party rulers, leading to fears that there may be similarities with the way it dealt with SARS.

The numbers in Hubei: The epicenter of the outbreak has now recorded 48,206 cases.

Other changes have been taking place in the province, including the sacking of a top Red Cross official in Wuhan for dereliction of duty and the removal of health officials in other cities.

"It is not clear if the problem up to now, on this issue, was lack of transparency or simply bad medical practice", Crane said.

Yun Jiang, a China researcher at Australian National University, said the new methodology may be a "practical measure" because Hubei has a shortage of laboratory testing kits. "I thought: Is this real?" There are now several hundred coronavirus cases in 27 countries outside of China.

United Airlines extended its China flight cancellations into late April.

Global business events scheduled outside China have also been affected by the outbreak, with the Mobile World Congress scheduled to be held in Spain's Barcelona later this month now canceled.

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