China tweaks COVID-19 infection figures; limits reporting of totals – still very high – to Hubei

(Photo courtesy: FT)

(, Feb13’20) – The total number of confirmed cases in the hard-hit province is now 48,206, including 14,840 new such cases on Rather than providing figures for the whole country as before, China on Feb 12 mentioned totals for the COVID-19 infection’s spread and fatality only in Hubei province whose capital Wuhan was the disease’s origin. Feb 12, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Feb 13. This included 13,332 diagnosed through new clinical methods, which have been seen as confirmed cases from Feb 12, the report said.

The hard-hit province also reported 242 new deaths from the infection on the same day, reported the official Feb 13. This brought the total number of deaths so far to 1,310, reported the AP Feb 12. The report said the new deaths were more than twice the prior provincial daily record of 103 set on Feb 10.

The report quoted Dr Mike Ryan, the head of emergencies for the World Health Organization (WHO), as saying it was still “way too early to try to predict the beginning of the end” of the crisis in China.

The report said China had locked down an unprecedented 60 million people in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, which has hit hardest the city of Wuhan and surrounding areas in Hubei province.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said in Geneva that the numbers “must be interpreted with extreme caution,” adding: “This outbreak could still go in any direction.”

He has also noted that the number of other countries reporting cases – about two dozen – had not changed since Feb 4.

The report noted that all but one of the deaths recorded so far had been in China, as had been more than 99 per cent of all reported infections in the world.


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