Can't connect right now! retry
health
Thursday Feb 20 2020
By
AFP

China announces biggest drop in new coronavirus cases

By
AFP
People wearing protective facemasks walk along a street in Shanghai on February 19, 2020. Photo: AFP

Beijing on Thursday reported the biggest drop in new cases from the coronavirus outbreak in nearly a month.

The National Health Commission said that more than 74,500 people have now been infected nationwide by the virus, which first emerged in central Hubei province in December.

The death toll jumped to 2,118 on Thursday after 114 new deaths were reported — most in Hubei province, the hard-hit epicentre of the outbreak.

Most of the new cases were in the provincial capital Wuhan, where the virus first emerged.

Coronavirus impact on world economy depends on global response: Chinese envoy

Hubei health officials said Thursday there had been 615 new cases in Wuhan and 13 more elsewhere in the province.

However, the Hubei health commission said it was reducing the number of previously reported cases in a number of cities in the province by 279.

Even without the adjustment, the number of new cases was sharply lower than the province's daily updates of recent weeks. On Wednesday, there were 1,693 new cases reported in Hubei.

National health officials said the over-reporting in Hubei was after nucleic acid tests were carried out on patients previously confirmed using lung imaging.

Read also: Death toll from coronavirus rises to 2,000 in China

After the adjustment, the number of new cases confirmed nationwide was 394, the National Health Commission said.

The number of new cases spiked last week after Hubei health officials said they were changing the way they counted cases to include those diagnosed clinically using lung imaging tests, rather than just using lab tests to confirm cases.

Outside of Hubei, the number of cases has been steadily falling, with only 45 more cases reported on Thursday.