China coronavirus deaths rise 254 to 1,367 at end-Wednesday

Reuters , Thursday 13 Feb 2020

Chinese paramilitary police officers wearing protectieve gears
Chinese paramilitary police officers wearing protectieve gears transfer pails of disinfectant in Yunmeng county, outside Xiaogan City in China's central Hubei province (Photo: AFP)

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China rose to 1,367 as of the end of Wednesday, up 254 from the previous day, the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Thursday.

Across mainland China, there were 15,152 new confirmed infections bringing the total to 59,804, it said.

The sharp increases came after Hubei authorities said they had introduced using a new, quicker diagnostic method using computerised tomography (CT) scans, which the NHC said had diagnosed 13,332 of the new infections.

The CT scans reveal lung infections, the Hubei health commission said, and enable confirmation and faster isolation of new virus cases.

Hubei authorities had previously only allowed infections to be confirmed by RNA tests, which can take days to process. RNA, or ribonucleic acid, carries genetic information allowing for identification of organisms like viruses.

The NHC did not account for a discrepancy of one case, as it had reported that the total accumulated number as of Tuesday was 44,653.

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