Is the coronavirus disease outbreak slowing down?

Coronavirus patients, medical staff dance at Wuhan hospital to stay positive

China's death toll from the new coronavirus epidemic was revised downwards to 1,380 on Friday after officials said some fatalities had been counted a few times.

In its latest update, China's National Health Commission said it had recorded 121 new deaths and 5,090 new coronavirus cases on the mainland on February 13, taking the accumulated total infected to 63,851 people. The worldwide death toll now exceeds 1,300. However, after the sharp increase, the number of people diagnosed started to stabilize.

The latest death toll is now 1,368, and the total number of people infected reached almost 60,364 people according to the Center For Systems Science and Engineering at JHU.

The number of reported cases has been rising more quickly after the hardest-hit province changed its method of counting them Thursday.

Dozens of low-level health officials across the country have also lost their jobs for failing to contain the epidemic, which is believed to have emerged from a market in Wuhan where wildlife was traded illegally. The death was the third outside mainland China, after two others in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Hubei had previously only allowed infections to be confirmed by RNA tests, which can take days to process. RNA, or ribonucleic acid, carries genetic information allowing for identification of organisms like viruses.

In Hubei province alone, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, there are about 34,000 people hospitalized, which included approximately 1,400 who are in a critical condition.

The WHO has been able to track down the source of transmission in all but eight of the 441 cases of the virus outside China, its head of emergencies Michael Ryan said. He said the Geneva-based United Nations health agency was seeking "further clarity" from China about recent updates to its case definition and reporting protocol for the coronavirus disease outbreak.

- A four-month-old baby infected with the novel coronavirus was discharged from hospital on Wednesday after recovery in east China's Jiangxi Province.

Australian health officials tested a passenger onboard another cruise ship that docked in Sydney harbor for a "respiratory illness" on Friday, causing passengers to fret about the potential of another shipboard outbreak of the coronavirus. During the quarantine period, 218 people tested positive of the virus, but not everyone has been tested yet.

Meanwhile, another cruise ship, the Westerdam, finally docked Thursday in the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville, ending a two-week-long saga that saw the ship being turned away by Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines because of unsubstantiated fears that someone on board was infected.

"Just seeing land was such a breathtaking moment", Angela Jones, an American tourist on the ship, told Reuters. "I think they want to put the best face on it".

The outbreak is also wreaking havoc on regional sporting events.

The Mobile World Congress, a telecoms industry gathering that draws more than 100,000 visitors to Barcelona, has been canceled after an exodus of exhibitors. World Rugby says the Singapore and Hong Kong rounds of the popular Sevens Series have been moved from April until October.



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