Residents wearing masks wait at a traffic light in Beijing, China Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. China is struggling to restart its economy after the annual Lunar New Year holiday was extended to try to keep people home and contain novel coronavirus. Traffic remained light in Beijing, and many people were still working at home. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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Virus death toll nears 1,400 in China, with 5,090 new cases

14 Comments
By KEN MORITSUGU

China on Friday reported another sharp rise in the number of people infected with a new virus, as the death toll neared 1,400.

The National Health Commission said 121 more people had died and there were 5,090 new confirmed cases.

The number of reported cases has been rising more quickly after the hardest-hit province changed its method of counting them Thursday. There are now 63,851 confirmed cases in mainland China, of which 1,380 have died.

Hubei province is now including cases based on a physician's diagnosis and before they have been confirmed by lab tests. Of the 5,090 new cases, 3,095 fell into that category.

The acceleration in the number of cases does not necessarily represent a sudden surge in new infections of the virus that causes COVID-19 as much as a revised methodology.

"I suspect but can't be certain that the underlying trend is still downwards," said Paul Hunter, a professor of health protection at the University of East Anglia in England. "It almost certainly does not mean that there has been a resurgence of the epidemic overnight."

China's Health Commission has said that the change was aimed at identifying suspected cases in which the patient has pneumonia so they can be treated more quickly and reduce the likelihood of more serious illness or death.

Experts also saw it as a reflection of a chaotic crush of people seeking treatment and the struggle to keep up with a backlog of untested samples in Hubei province and its capital city, Wuhan, where the disease first surfaced in December.

"Clearly in Wuhan, the health system is under extreme pressure and so the first priority has to be the patient," said Mark Woolhouse, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh.

Elsewhere, Japan confirmed another case, a Japanese man in his 70s, a day after it reported its first death from the virus. Japan now has 252 confirmed cases, including 218 from a cruise ship that has been quarantined in Yokohama.

More than 560 cases have been confirmed outside mainland China and three deaths, one each in the Philippines and Hong Kong and now a Japanese woman in her 80s. Health officials are investigating how she got infected.

In an unprecedented attempt to contain the disease, the Chinese government has placed the hardest-hit cities - home to more than 60 million - under lockdown. People are restricted from entering or leaving the cities, and in many places can only leave their homes or residential complexes for shopping and other daily needs.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


14 Comments
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Ethnic Chinese seem more susceptible to this virus.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

It isn't a surge at all.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Burning Bush, only viruses are resistant to viruses, get it ?

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Goes to show you call believe anything being reported on this.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

People are dying from viral pneumonia, a disease they have vaccine for

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It isn't a surge at all.

Oh really? What do you call it when the number of confirmed cases triples and the death toll raises by a factor of five overnight?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I hope the Chinese gov’t is held accountable for this, i.e., president Xi.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The Chinese government will hide the true figures and wearing a stupid facemask isn't going to help you... You still have to breathe air! Facemask manufacturers rubbing their hands with profit!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The CDC and WHO requested premission to enter China/Wuhan back on January 6th. Is there some special reason that China has ignored these requests?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When you build a hospital in only 10 days don't expect survival rates to improve. These are essentially storage warehouses with beds in them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Numbers coming from the CPC are meaningless.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The CDC and WHO requested permission to enter China/Wuhan back on January 6th. Is there some special reason that China has ignored these requests?

Where did you get that one ?

That seems surprising as the WHO was notified the 31th of December when there was not a lot of case not much more around the 6th and the USCDC was just issuing 1st level warming.

NB : you know that there is a CDC in China, so difficult for them to not be granted access to thair own country.

https://web.archive.org/web/20200108143634/https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/pneumonia-china

Oh really? What do you call it when the number of confirmed cases triples and the death toll raises by a factor of five overnight?

A change in the way case are acknowledged. Until now they just recognized people testing positive but since the validity of the test is not so good, they choose to recognize as infected people out of clinical diagnosis thought lung imagery.

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1228610/covid-19-deaths-cases-spike-as-china-changes-counting-methods

And it not only include new people being tested but previous one. I guess because if they were diagnosed they will shoulder the medical bill.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The CDC and WHO requested premission to enter China/Wuhan back on January 6th. Is there some special reason that China has ignored these requests?

Be side China is a sovereign state. Just like when Japan refuses request for asylum, it’s because Japan is a sovereign state.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A change in the way case are acknowledged. Until now they just recognized people testing positive but since the validity of the test is not so good, they choose to recognize as infected people out of clinical diagnosis thought lung imagery.

Which is still a surge in the number of new cases, no matter how you spin it...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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