Another 242 people died from the novel coronavirus in Hubei province on Wednesday, and 14,840 new cases were recorded — a huge spike in confirmed infections.
At least 1,355 people have now died in mainland China from novel coronavirus, with 1,310 deaths in Hubei alone. One person has also died in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines.
A new way of counting cases: The huge rise in confirmed cases comes from a tweak in how the authorities are tallying infections. The government is now including “clinically diagnosed cases” — i.e. people diagnosed on the basis of their symptoms rather than testing positive — to make it easier for those patients to access treatment.
The numbers in Hubei: The epicenter of the outbreak has now recorded 48,206 cases. Of those, 33,693 patients have been hospitalized and 1,437 are in critical condition, according to the health authority. Meanwhile, 3,441 patients have recovered and been discharged.
The global tally: The global number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases has now exceeded 60,015, with the vast majority of cases in mainland China.
China’s National Health Commission is expected to release numbers for all of China’s provinces later.
More than 3,700 passengers and crew are still stuck on a cruise ship in Yokohama that became a floating quarantine zone after dozens of people tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month.
To date, a total of 175 people aboard the Diamond Princess have become infected and passengers on board have gone public with their fear and concern.
Now crew members are saying that they’re also afraid of catching the disease.
Sonali Thakkar, 24, from Mumbai, has worked for Princess Cruises for the past two years. She is part of the security team on board the ship, working on the gangway as passengers are moved on and off.
Thakkar said she and her cabin mate became ill with a headache, cough and a fever two days ago. Her supervisor told her to stop working and she is currently staying in her cabin.
“I’m not eating very well and have been having fevers,” she told CNN in a Skype call Wednesday. “We all are really scared and tense.”
Thakkar fears that the virus may be spreading around the crew members. At least five have already tested positive for the virus.