The coronavirus already causes 1,426 dead in Hubei, epicenter of the outbreak

Deaths from the coronavirus in Hubei province, the focus of the epidemic that is in check in China, increased in the last 24 hours in 116 to reach 1,426 people killed there, reported the Provincial Health Commission of that central-eastern region from the country.

In Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak, 4,823 new cases were also counted, bringing the number of cases detected so far in that province to 51,986.

The number of new deaths in Hubei by COVID-19 - new official name of the disease - offered today is lower than the previous day: yesterday, Thursday, the new cases confirmed by the provincial commission of Hubei were 14,840, while the death toll increased by 242.

Chinese authorities reported on Thursday a change in diagnostic criteria to confirm the cases, which triggered the balance of those affected by the coronavirus throughout China, with more than 15,000 new infected and 254 deaths in a single day, according to data officers.

Until now patients were confirmed by means of tests carried out with equipment that is scarce in the province, and now doctors have more powers to confirm a case.

Although provincial authorities have not provided many more details about the latest criteria for accounting for patients, the new measures will allow "patients to receive timely treatment," the Provincial Health Commission said in a statement.

Last week Hubei health authorities had announced that they would begin to recognize the results of CT scans to confirm infections, which would allow hospitals to isolate patients more quickly.

In the meantime, the National Health Commission has not yet communicated the daily data for all of China, which until yesterday offered about 08.00 local time (00.00 GMT).

The latest data provided on Thursday at the national level put the number of deaths across the country at 1,367 and the number of infected at 59,805.

The National Health Commission reported today that, until last midnight local time (16.00 GMT on Wednesday), 8,030 serious cases had been recorded throughout the country, while 5,911 people had been discharged after overcoming the disease.

According to official data, more than 471,000 people who had been in close contact with the infected have been followed up, of which 38% are still under observation.

To date, all but two deaths - in the Philippines and Hong Kong - have occurred in mainland China and, although thirty countries have diagnosed cases of pneumonia from Wuhan or COVID-19, China accounts for about 99% of the infected.

The symptoms of the new coronavirus are in many cases similar to those of a cold, but may be accompanied by fever and fatigue, dry cough and dyspnea (shortness of breath).


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