Novel coronavirus deaths in China top 1300 as country expands diagnosis

China's Hubei province reports surge in daily coronavirus deaths jump in new cases

The novel coronavirus, officially called "Covid-19", cases in China's Hubei province, soured from 1,638 a day earlier to 14,840 on Wednesday.

A second person evacuated from Wuhan to a U.S. military base near San Diego has been diagnosed with the new coronavirus, raising the tally of confirmed cases in the United States to 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday.

"A very disturbing aspect of today's new numbers is that the vast majority of new cases accrued to Wuhan, but what if the rest of Hubei Province still did not adjust their reporting methods?" The death toll in the province rose to 1,310, including 242 new deaths.

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

A shortage of RNA test kits in Hubei's capital Wuhan has been a problem and may have delayed patients from being properly diagnosed and treated, contributing to the spread of the virus in the early days of the outbreak, Reuters previously reported.

Tests have been taking place to see whether antiviral drugs used to treat HIV are effective against the coronavirus - however, results are only expected in a few weeks.

China last week amended its guidelines on prevention and control of the coronavirus, saying that only when asymptomatic cases show clinical signs should they be recorded as confirmed.

"In Singapore, we are at the beginning of the outbreak". Its biggest bank, DBS, evacuated 300 staff on Wednesday after a case at head office.

Dr. Mike Ryan, head of emergencies for the World Health Organization, said it is "way too early to try to predict the beginning of the end" of the crisis in China.

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The biggest cluster of cases outside China is on a cruise ship quarantined off the Japanese port of Yokohama, where a further 44 cases were reported on Thursday.

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

The ship has 218 infections among its 3,700 passengers and crew members.

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

"We have to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people", he said, according to the New York Post. "Outbreaks can bring out the best and the worst in people".

The removal of Jiang Chaoliang, the leading Communist Party official of Hubei province, and Ma Guoqiang, his counterpart in Wuhan, follows the dismissal of two provincial health officials on Tuesday, and is part of a wider effort by Beijing to remove bureaucrats it accuses of shirking their duties.

Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, remains under virtual lockdown, and other major Chinese cities are facing severe travel restrictions.

It has also disrupted sporting events in China: motorsport's governing body FIA announced the suspension of the Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai, originally scheduled for April 19, due to the "continued spread" of the coronavirus.

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