China coronavirus toll increases to 1380

14 Février, 2020, 09:37 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Coronavirus outbreak

Thursday had marked the highest daily toll from the virus in China, with an excess of 200 for the first time, after authorities in Hubei changed their diagnostic criteria to include clinically diagnosed cases in their tallies.

Mike Ryan, head of WHO's health emergencies program, said a spike of some 14,000 cases in China reported on Thursday was a result of authorities reclassifying a backlog of cases using patients' chest images, and not necessarily the "tip of an iceberg" of a wider epidemic.

On Thursday Japan announced its first coronavirus death - a woman in her 80s who lived in Kanagawa, south-west of Tokyo.

The change was explained initially as a way to bring the criteria in line with national ones, but the Chinese government said later Thursday that the measure, which classifies some of the previously suspected cases as confirmed ones, is being taken only in Hubei to treat more patients more quickly.

Hubei authorities confirmed an additional 4,823 cases of the virus in Hubei, which brings the total number of cases in the epicenter of the outbreak to 51,986.

Kudlow said President Xi Jinping had assured President Donald Trump that Beijing would accept United States help, but "they won't let us".

Covid-19 confirmed cases
Covid-19 confirmed cases

While the World Health Organization has praised China's handling of the epidemic - in contrast to its cover-up of the SARS outbreak in 2002-2003 - a top White House official on Thursday said Beijing should be more open.

Japanese policymakers vowed to step up testing and containment efforts after the death and confirmation of new cases, including a doctor and a taxi driver. "We're a little disappointed in the lack of transparency coming from the Chinese, these numbers are jumping around. there was some surprise", he told reporters.

"I think they've handled it professionally, and I think they're extremely capable", Trump said in a podcast broadcast on iHeart Radio.

The outbreak, believed to have emerged from a Wuhan market where wildlife was traded illegally, has triggered a backlash against local political leaders.

Under criticism at home over the handling of the crisis, China's Communist Party sacked two top-ranking officials in Hubei, and replaced them with senior cadres with security backgrounds.

Economists are assessing the impact of the outbreak on the world's second-largest economy and scaling back their expectations for growth this year.

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