A team of medical workers prepare to leave for Xianning city of Hubei province, at Changshui International Airport in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan province, Feb 12, 2020. (JIANG WENYAO / XINHUA)
WUHAN - China's Hubei province, center of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported 14,840 new confirmed cases and 242 new deaths on Wednesday, the highest daily increases so far, after the diagnosis criteria for confirmed cases were further loosened for timely treatment of more patients.
The diagnosis criteria revision has been made to give those who have been clinically diagnosed the timely standard treatment of confirmed cases to further improve the treatment success rate, said the Hubei Provincial Health Commission
The Hubei Provincial Health Commission said Thursday the number of new cases included 13,332 clinically diagnosed cases, which now have been seen as confirmed cases.
The 242 new deaths also include 135 people who were only clinically diagnosed.
The latest report brought the total confirmed cases in the hard-hit province to 48,206. The province had a total of 1,310 deaths as of Wednesday. The provincial capital Wuhan, with 32,994 total confirmed cases and 1,036 deaths, accounted for the majority of the provincial tally.
The provincial health commission said Hubei now has 9,028 suspected cases of infection, after 3,317 suspected cases were ruled out on Wednesday.
Clinicial diagnosis explained
Clinically diagnosed cases are unique to Hubei statistically. The inclusion of those cases drives the surge in the number of new confirmed cases.
Any suspected cases with pneumonia-related computerized tomography (CT) scan results are counted as clinically diagnosed cases, according to the latest version of the diagnosis and treatment scheme released by the National Health Commission.
The provincial health commission said the diagnosis criteria revision has been made to give those who have been clinically diagnosed the timely standard treatment of confirmed cases to further improve the treatment success rate.
"These 'yet-to-test-positive' patients could easily spread the virus in society. Categorizing them as confirmed cases will lead to quarantine and hospitalization, which would be good for both the patients and the public," said Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
"It is the right step to stop the spread of the virus," Zeng said.
World Health Organization (WHO) officials said on Thursday that a jump in the number of new cases of coronavirus in China reflects a “broader definition” of a case of infection.
“It is our current understanding that the new case definition widens the net, and includes not only lab-confirmed cases but also clinically diagnosed cases based on symptoms and exposure,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told Reuters.
With Reuters inputs
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