Coronavirus cases in China spike higher as officials report 14840 new cases

China's United Nations Ambassador Zhang Jun said his country has

In total, revealed more than 14 thousand new patients.

As we get even further into technicalities, "Covid-19" is actually the name of the disease caused by this particular strain of coronavirus, not the virus itself.

THE number of fatalities and new cases from China's coronavirus outbreak soared today, with 242 more deaths and almost 15,000 more patients in hard-hit Hubei province as authorities changed their threshold for diagnosis.

"This outbreak could still go in any direction", he told a briefing in Geneva.

Excluding China, there are 24 countries reporting cases of coronavirus.

Until Tuesday, the virus outbreak has claimed 1,115 lives with 97 new fatalities reported mostly in the worst-affected Hubei province while the confirmed cases of infection jumped to 44,763, the state-run CGTN TV reported.

The number of newly reported cases from China has stabilised in the past week but that has to be interpreted with extreme caution.

The overall number of deaths in the country, which has been largely closed down to prevent the outbreak's spread, rose to 1,113.

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"It has spread to other places where it's the beginning of the outbreak", Dale Fisher, head of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network coordinated by the World Health Organization, said in an interview in Singapore.

The coronavirus has spread to two dozen other countries, having only been identified late previous year in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Another 40 people - 29 passengers, 10 crew members and one quarantine officer - have tested positive to coronavirus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which is quarantined off the coast of Japan. This will help WHO focus on the health response while the other agencies can bring their expertise to bear on the wider social, economic and developmental implications of the outbreak.

"This is an example of the global solidarity we have consistently been calling for", he said.

Jiang Chaoliang, Hubei's party secretary, will be replaced by Shanghai mayor Ying Yong, while Wuhan party chief Ma Guoqiang will be replaced by an official from Shandong, Xinhua news agency reported.

The virus is believed to have originated late a year ago at a seafood market in Hubei province's capital Wuhan.

With companies laying off workers and supply chains from the auto industry to smartphones disrupted, China's economy is taking a big hit.

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