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Home / World News / Huge spike in coronavirus cases in China, which blames new diagnosis criterion

Huge spike in coronavirus cases in China, which blames new diagnosis criterion

Despite the surge in numbers, the World Health Organisation said that the Covid-19 behaviour doesn’t seem to be as aggressive or accelerating outside of Hubei province.

world Updated: Feb 13, 2020 14:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Police officers walk past a man holding his mobile phone while wearing face mask and plastic gloves, on a street following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, in Kunming, Yunnan province, China on February 13.
Police officers walk past a man holding his mobile phone while wearing face mask and plastic gloves, on a street following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, in Kunming, Yunnan province, China on February 13. (Reuters Photo)

China announced a massive spike in the number or novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases on Wednesday, with Hubei province reporting an additional 254 deaths and 15,152 new cases following the adoption of a new methodology for diagnosing cases. Chinese officials said the surge in numbers is because they have started including ‘clinically-diagnosed’ cases in the total number, which has added 13,332 new cases in a single day, taking the total number of Covid-19 cases to 48,206. The death toll in Hubei also soared by a record 254 on Thursday, taking the total to around 1,360.

The diagnosis criterion has been widened to include suspected cases with CT scans showing indications of the disease so that more people with symptoms may receive the same treatment as a laboratory-confirmed cases, according to Chinese officials. An online release cited a national-level virus response plan issued last week, but it is unclear why Hubei suddenly started implementing the new methodology this week.

Despite the surge in numbers, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that the Covid-19 behaviour doesn’t seem to be as aggressive or accelerating outside of Hubei province.

The sudden change and surge in numbers, however, has revived suspicion of China underplaying the extent of the epidemic, which has led in the world’s largest ever lockdown that has placed millions in virtual house arrest in a desperate attempt to contain the spread of the virus that has triggered public anger against the government bungled management. China responded to public anger by sacking Jiang Chaoliang, the party chief of Hubei province, even as a district of the Chinese city of Shiyan in central Hubei province as implemented “war time measures” to combat the virus.

Cambodia came to the rescue of passengers marooned aboard Holland America’s MS West liner and granted it permission to disembark at Sihanoukville after the ship spent two weeks at sea because no other country would allow it to dock because of fears of infection. The virus continued to play havoc on sea, with Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan reporting another 44 Covid-19 cases, taking the total number of cases aboard to 218.

In India, no new cases have been reported after the diagnosis of three students who came back home to Kerala from Wuhan, where they were studying medicine. To date, only three students in Kerala are confirmed laboratory positive for Covid-19 two last week. Two of them are already free of infection, but all three continue to be quarantined.