Coronavirus infections skyrocket as China refines diagnostic methods

Laverne Higgins
February 14, 2020

Authorities said Friday that some 1,716 health workers have been infected since the start of the outbreak and six of them have died, RTHK reports.

Chinese authorities announced that confirmed coronavirus cases rose by just over 5,000 on Friday - the second spike in as many days, after a change in reporting methods drove the number higher Thursday.

"This allows clinicians to move and report cases more quickly, not having to wait for lab confirmation, ensuring that people get to clinical care more quickly, and also allows public health responses in terms of contact tracing and other important public health measures to be initiated", Ryan added.

Overall, China's National Health Commission said it had recorded 121 new deaths for a total of 1,380.

Schaffner said he was optimistic that China's unprecedented quarantines - putting 60 million people in its hardest-hit cities under lockdown - would help reduce transmissions.

Noting that safeguarding people's life and health is a major mission of the Party in governing the country, Xi stressed the need to strengthen areas of weakness and close the loopholes exposed by the current epidemic. The individual remains isolated and is receiving medical care at a nearby hospital, the CDC said in a statement.

Thousands of passengers and crew remain under quarantine - and likely will continue to do so until it is expected to lift next week. Forty-four new cases were reported there on Thursday, the Associated Press said.

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A driver wearing protective a suit is seen inside a bus believed to carry elderly passengers of the cruise ship Diamond Princess at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Friday. There have now been 218 cases reported among those on the ship, and at least 23 of those are American patients.

A Chinese train attendant and medical worker gesture to each other across the glass, as the train prepares to depart for the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier this month, the United States began to bar entry to any foreigners who have recently traveled to China.

Speaking at a World Health Organization news conference, Dr Michael Ryan explained that medical professionals in Hubei province - the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak - had begun classifying suspected cases based on chest imaging alone, prior to laboratory confirmations.

China reported 254 deaths Thursday compared with about 100 in recent days.

The ministry described the person as a foreigner, but did not disclose the nationality.

The new figures for total infections gave no sign the outbreak was nearing a peak, said Adam Kamradt-Scott, an infectious diseases expert at the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney.

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