China’s death toll is close to 1,500, but new cases are dropping

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The death toll from China’s coronavirus outbreak rose to 1,483 on Friday but the number of new infections in the hard-hit province of Hubei dropped after a change in case definitions caused a massive rise the day before.

The central provincial health commission recorded 116 more deaths and 4,823 new cases, the majority involving patients who were clinically diagnosed.

The province, the outbreak’s epicenter, on Thursday had 242 more deaths, and more than 14,800 new cases.

In the world now more than 64,600 people have been contaminated.

Health officials in Hubei said they started counting clinically diagnosed cases to ensure patients receive care as early as possible, rather than waiting for laboratory tests to confirm that they have the COVID-19 disease.

Nevertheless, the move raised concerns that the crisis may be more serious than that stated by the Chinese authorities.

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