The number of new infections in Hubei — the central Chinese province at the epicenter of the outbreak — rose sharply for the second day in a row today after the government adopted a new way of calculating how cases are recorded.
The Hubei health authority recorded 4,823 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, more than double the 2,097 new cases announced Tuesday.
If you’re just joining us, here’s what you need to know …
Death toll rises: Out of the more than 36,719 patients still hospitalized in Hubei, 1,685 are in a critical condition. The global death toll rose today to 1,486.
Leadership shakeup: The spike in cases comes amid sweeping changes to top leadership positions in both Hubei and Wuhan.
The Communist Party chiefs of both Wuhan and Hubei were removed from their positions yesterday and replaced with officials from outside the province. Two Hubei health officials were also sacked earlier in the week.
Global infections mount: Both Singapore and Hong Kong now have more than 50 cases of the novel coronavirus, with the former announcing Thursday that it had diagnosed eight new cases.
The number of infections globally has now risen to more than 65,000.
Cruise ship situation is ‘dynamic’: There have now been 219 cases of the coronavirus found on board the cruise liner Diamond Princess, which is in quarantine off the coast of Yokohama in Japan.
In a message to passengers, Grant Tarling, the chief medical officer of cruise operator Princess Cruises said the situation was still “very dynamic.” “The Ministry of Health has notified us that the quarantine period of 14 days will end on February 19. However, as the situation is evolving daily, we do not know at this point what measures, if any, will be required before or after that date.” he said.