Huge spike in number of coronavirus deaths

A security officer in a protective mask checks the temperature of a passenger following the...
A security officer in a protective mask checks the temperature of a passenger following the outbreak of coronavirus, Photo: Reuters/file
The death toll in China's central Hubei province from a coronavirus outbreak leapt by a record 242 today, taking the total number of deaths in the province so far to 1310, the province's health commission said.

The new deaths were more than twice the prior provincial daily record of 103 set on Monday.

The number of new cases in Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak, also jumped to 14,840 as the commission said that it had begun including people who are diagnosed through new clinical methods from Thursday.

It also said it had revised its old data and suspected cases. The latest death toll included over 100 clinically diagnosed cases.

State media said last week that Hubei will start recognising computerised tomography (CT) scan results as confirmation of infections, allowing hospitals to isolate patients more quickly.

Reuters reported last month that a lack of RNA test kits in Hubei's capital Wuhan may have delayed patients from being properly diagnosed and treated, contributing to the spread of the virus in the early days of the outbreak.

Total cases in the province have now reached 48,206, showed the commission data.