Coronavirus: Rate of new cases and deaths surge under new diagnosis method

China virus death toll tops 1,100 as new infections fall

The UK has confirmed its ninth case of coronavirus, saying the latest patient - the first in London - had caught the virus while in China.

It was "an example of the worldwide solidarity we have consistently been calling for", he said.

The total number of confirmed cases is now close to 60,000.

Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations in the United States, told DW that he expects new cases of coronavirus to drop between late April and early May.

"This increase that you've all seen in the last 24 hours is largely, in part, down to a change in how the cases are being reported", Michael Ryan, head of WHO's health emergencies programme, told reporters in Geneva.

Up until now, they had exclusively confirmed cases with a more sophisticated laboratory test.

The patient was among 232 people under quarantine at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar after being airlifted out of Wuhan earlier this month, CDC spokeswoman Ana Toro said.

Under criticism at home over the handling of the crisis, the Chinese Communist Party dismissed two top-ranking officials in Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

The public has widely criticized local officials for failing to respond quickly and decisively to the new virus. Authorities initially assured people that there was little to no risk of human-to-human transmission, a statement that was later retracted.

"It is not clear if the problem up to now, on this issue, was lack of transparency or simply bad medical practice". Doctors who tried to share information early on were reprimanded by police for "spreading rumors".

"This is a society struggling with openness", said Schaffner.

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The change comes at a time when the central Chinese province is hit hard by the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak.

"I suspect but can't be certain that the underlying trend is still downwards", he said. That raised the global tally to nearly 60,000, dashing hopes that the epidemic might be easing.

Many airlines have suspended flights to China, while countries have imposed bans or quarantine for people arriving from China, disrupting businesses and playing havoc with conferences and sporting events.

Dozens of low-level health officials across the country have also lost their jobs for failing to contain the epidemic, which is believed to have emerged from a market in Wuhan where wildlife was traded illegally.

A local government notice advised residents that basic necessities would be distributed and help would be provided to obtain medicine.

"It doesn't have too much of an impact on our life, except that we're not allowed to go out", she said.

As the coronavirus outbreak has dragged down business activities in China, President Xi Jinping's government pledged at a meeting on Wednesday that it will make efforts to shore up the world's second-largest economy while taking measures to contain the virus' spread.

Tedros thanked Cambodia for offering to take in a cruise ship that has been refused port in several countries over fear of the virus.

The biggest cluster of cases outside China is on a cruise ship quarantined off Japan's coast.

The disease caused by the virus was given a name on Tuesday: COVID-19. Provided China continues to tally with the new method, it would give a chance for an apples-to-apples, day-to-day comparison.

A Vietnamese health official wearing a protective suit amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak sprays disinfectant on a motorcyle at a checkpoint in Son Loi commune in Vinh Phuc province on Thursday.

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