Coronavirus: Death Toll Jumps to 1300 in China, Expands Diagnosis

Coronavirus: Death Toll Jumps to 1300 in China, Expands Diagnosis

TheChinese province at the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak reported thatthe death toll jumps to more than 1300 as experts warned the epidemic could "createhavoc" in less prepared countries.

Healthauthorities in Hubei announced an additional 242 deaths and 14,840 cases of thevirus, known officially as Covid-19, as of Thursday morning, the largestsingle-day rise since the epidemic began and almost ten times the number ofcases confirmed the previous day.

Accordingto reports, almost 34,000 patients have been hospitalized across Hubei, thecentral Chinese province of which Wuhan is capital, including 1,400 or so in acritical condition. So far, 3,441 patients have recovered and been discharged.

Globally,the virus has infected more than 60,000 people, with the vast majority of casesin mainland China. Only two deaths have occurred outside of China.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) officials described China's decision to broaden its definition of what constitutes a confirmed case as a necessary measure.

Inthe UK too, a new case was confirmed on Wednesday in the capital London, withhealth officials warning that more were likely to follow.

WHOofficials had previously expressed some optimism at the apparently stabilizingoutbreak in China, but even then they cautioned that the virus could stillspread elsewhere.

"This outbreak could still go in any direction," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Tedrosfurther stated, "We have to invest in preparedness," adding that richercountries should help invest in countries with a weaker health system. Hewarned the virus could "create havoc" if it reaches a country whosehealth system is not capable of handling such an epidemic.

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