Virus death toll surges as China changes count method

1,113 deaths in China coronavirus over 44,000 confirmed cases

1,113 deaths in China coronavirus over 44,000 confirmed cases

The number of fatalities from Covid 2019 epidemic jumped to 1,110 in China today after hard-hit Hubei province reported 94 new deaths.

Thursday's spike came as Hubei officials said they were correcting previous diagnoses to include people "clinically diagnosed" with COVID-19, adding 14,840 new cases to its total.

Under new reporting requirements, cases are considered confirmed based on symptoms and a CT scan of the lungs.

"This outbreak could still go in any direction", he told a briefing in Geneva. Experts said the declines were promising signals that China's lockdown of tens of millions of people may be working to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

All but one of the deaths recorded so far have been in China, as have more than 99 per cent of all reported infections in the world.

"I think it's way too early to try to predict the beginning, the middle or the end of this epidemic right now", said Michael Ryan, head of WHO's health emergencies programme.

Although no passengers have fallen ill on board, the ship had been turned away by Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Thailand over fears that someone on the cruise could have the virus.

Storm Dennis: Heavy rain set to blast Scotland at the weekend
Storm Dennis is expected to bring transport and power disruptions, as well as risky conditions around the coast due to waves. Chief meteorologist Steve Ramsdale said: "Another spell of very wet and windy?weather is expected for Saturday.

The ship's operator is among foreign companies taking a hit from the outbreak, with many flights suspended and businesses disrupted.

Planemaker Boeing BA.N said airlines were facing a fall in profits as the crisis reduces passenger demand and prolongs weakness in economically sensitive air freight.

Cambodia agreed to let it land, the Holland America Line said.

A resident wears a protective mask as he passes by empty shelves in the supermarket on February 12, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. On Wednesday, a top USA health official said it was likely the virus would establish a foothold in the United States, a very striking prediction that now makes much more sense after the latest Hubei figures.

Top U.S. health experts seeking to join an global group heading to the center of the outbreak in China said they still have no answer on whether they'll be allowed into the country.

The GSMA, which organises the annual show, set for Barcelona, said it was cancelled due to "the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances".

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