China reports spike in coronavirus deaths after broadening scope of diagnosis

by Jordyn Pair · Feb 13th, 2020 10:07 am

China reported on Thursday a sharp spike in deaths from the coronavirus following a broadened way of classifying cases of the virus.

The death toll in China reached 1,367, up from 254 the previous day, while the number of confirmed cases jumped 15,152 to 59,804. The spike is due in part to a new form of diagnosing the virus, recently named COVID-19, which includes doctors' analysis and lung imaging, rather than relying on laboratory test results.

"It is our current understanding that the new case definition widens the net, and includes not only lab-confirmed cases but also clinically diagnosed cases based on symptoms and exposure," World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told The Associated Press.

China also recently appointed new high-level officials in Hubei and Wuhan after public backlash to the way the previous officials had been handling the health crisis.

🔦 Japan confirmed its first death from the virus, a woman in her 80s who had been hospitalized since early February. She is the third confirmed fatality outside of mainland China.