Outbreak will hit EVERY country after record day for outbreak deaths

In breaking down the large number of new cases in China, National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said Hubei at the epicenter had adopted a revised diagnosis and treatment plan aimed at accelerating the identification and treatment of virus cases.

Health officials in China's hard-hit central province of Hubei reported 242 people died from the coroanvirus, COVID-19 , on Wednesday - more than twice the number of the previous day and the highest daily toll since the outbreak began.

But the 2,015 new confirmed cases reported in mainland China on Wednesday were dwarfed by the 14,840 new cases reported in Hubei alone on Thursday, after provincial officials started using computerised tomography (CT) scans to look for infections.

Airlines say part of the reason is a dramatic drop-off in demand, but the U.S. has also introduced strict restrictions on travellers to the United States who have visited China, barring almost all non-US residents if they have been in China within the previous14 days.

China also replaced its top officials in Hubei and its capital, Wuhan.

Meanwhile, Chinese state media reported that Jiang Chaoliang, the head of the Communist Party in Hubei province, and Ma Guoqiang, the party chief in the provincial capital, Wuhan, were both removed from their posts.

Dozens of low-level health officials across the country have also lost their jobs for failing to contain the spread of the epidemic, which is believed to have emerged from a seafood market in Wuhan where wildlife was traded illegally.

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He says it is reassuring that the number of daily cases appears to be stabilizing, due mainly to China's huge public health operation, which has placed 60 million people under a lockdown.

On board another cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, 44 more people have tested positive for COVID-19.

"This outbreak could go in any direction", he added.

According to the ship's operator, Holland America, none of the 1,400 passengers and 800 crew members were infected with the virus.

"In Singapore, we are at the beginning of the outbreak".

Thailand refused to allow the Westerdam to dock this week after it had already been turned away by the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan and Guam over virus concerns.

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