Saturday, 28 March, 2020


Latest Surge of Infections Drives Beijing to Oust Top Hubei Party Officials

China’s new coronavirus cases rise on infections from abroad Latest Surge of Infections Drives Beijing to Oust Top Hubei Party Officials
Patty Aguilar | 13 February, 2020, 20:45

A record 14,800 new cases of coronavirus were reported within 24 hours in China's Hubei province on Thursday, according to local health officials.

Former Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong succeeds Jiang Chaoliang as the ruling Communist Party's chief in the beleaguered province, the Xinhua state news agency reported, while Wang Zhonglin will take over from Ma Guoqiang as the party secretary in Wuhan.

As new diagnostic methods are employed, the daily number of deaths in the province more than doubled, according to Liberty Times.

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

Hubei had previously only allowed infections to be confirmed by RNA tests, which can take days to process and delay treatment.

World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told Reuters Thursday the increase in the number of new cases reflects a "broader definition" of a coronavirus diagnosis and that his organization wants China to provide "further clarity" about the new methodology. RNA, or ribonucleic acid, carries genetic information allowing for identification of organisms like viruses. Daily declines in new cases in Hubei earlier this week helped push US equity markets to record highs on Wednesday.

Using quicker CT scans that reveal lung infections would help patients get treatment more quickly and improve chances of recovery, the Hubei health commission said.

The infection has not been reported in any new countries since February 4, and of the 48 new cases confirmed outside China on Tuesday, 40 were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama, Japan.

The reports did not state a reason for the dismissals, but the two are the most high-profile Chinese officials to date to be removed from duty following the coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan late last yet.

"The number of newly confirmed cases reported from China has stabilized over the past week, but that must be interpreted with extreme caution", said WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The MS Westerdam arrived early on Thursday morning - and one passenger on board said "just seeing land was such a breathtaking moment".

Several countries have banned arrivals from China, while major airlines have halted flights to and from the country, as hundreds of people have now been infected in some two dozen countries.

Nearly 34,000 patients have been hospitalized across Hubei, the central Chinese province of which Wuhan is capital, including 1,400 or so in a critical condition.

In an unprecedented measure to contain the disease, recently dubbed COVID-19, the Chinese government has placed the hardest-hit cities - home to more than 60 million - under lockdown.

Formula 1's Chinese Grand Prix, due to happen in Shanghai on 19 April, has actually been delayed.

In Spain, organisers of the world's top mobile telecommunications trade fair, the World Mobile Congress, said the event would be cancelled following an exodus of industry heavyweights over coronavirus fears.

Effective drugs and treatment are the key to contain the epidemic, the meeting noted, stressing more studies on the almost 6,000 cured cases to improve treating plans.

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