China sees 242 coronavirus deaths, almost 15,000 new cases in one day

Markets sink again as coronavirus death toll leaps

The death toll in China's Hubei province from a coronavirus outbreak leapt by a record 242 on Thursday to 1,310, with a sharp rise in confirmed cases after the adoption of new methodology for diagnosis, health officials said.

Health authorities in Hubei announced an additional 242 deaths and 14,840 cases of the virus, known officially as Covid-19, as of Thursday morning, the largest single-day rise since the epidemic began and nearly ten times the number of cases confirmed the previous day.

There are now 48,206 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Hubei, and the death toll stands at 1,310.

Asian stock markets wobbled and the safe-havens of the Japanese yen, gold and bonds rose after the Hubei numbers were reported.

It comes as Chinese health bosses claim the disease may be completely eradicated by April, after the country reported its lowest number of new cases in almost two weeks.

(From left) World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme head Michael Ryan, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and WHO Chair of Emergency Committee on Ebola Robert Steffen attend a combined news conference following as two-day global conference on COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine research and a meeting to decide whether Ebola in DR Congo still constitutes health emergency of worldwide concern on January 12, 2020 in Geneva.

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.

Results from Chinese trials testing a combination of antiviral drugs used to treat HIV against the new coronavirus are due in weeks, but experts say a vaccine could still be months away. The organization announced that at 6 am CET on February 11, there were 42,708 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in China and 393 cases in 24 other countries around the world.

The cruise ship Diamond Princess, where dozens of passengers were tested positive for coronavirus, is seen through steel fence at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan.

Using CT scans that reveal lung infection would help patients receive treatment as soon as possible and improve their chances of recovery, the commission said.

Tedros also praised Cambodia for agreeing to take in the Westerdam, a United States cruise ship that has been rejected at several Asian ports over coronavirus fears.

"This morning, just seeing land was such a breathtaking moment", Angela Jones, an American tourist on the ship, told Reuters.

The outbreak is suspected to have originated in the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan in December.

Professor Fisher, who works at the National University of Singapore, said: "It has spread to other places where it's the beginning of the outbreak".

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