Corona cases jump as methodology revised
BEIJING:China reported on Thursday 15,152 new infections and 254 fatalities due to the new coronavirus Covid-19, a record rise in numbers that raises fresh questions about the scale of the crisis a mere day after the outbreak was seen to have been easing in severity. The spike — a consequence of China applying new diagnostic criteria — now puts the total number of infections in the country
to nearly 60,000 and the number of total deaths close to 1,400. The numbers unnerved world markets, as traders retreated back to the safety of government
bonds and gold, and triggered concerns of supply of materials from China that industries such as pharmaceuticals depend upon across the world.
The UN health agency said the sharp rise did not represent a big shift in the epidemic. “This does not represent a significant change in the trajectory of the outbreak,” Michael Ryan, head of the WHO health emergencies programme, said at a press conference in Geneva on Thursday.
The crisis also triggered a purge of senior bureaucrats in China on Thursday, with the top leadership of Hubei, the central Chinese province at the epicentre of the outbreak, being sacked.