The Chinese region at the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak reported a record rise in the death toll Thursday under a new diagnostic methodology, and Beijing fired two local leaders after criticism of their handling of the disaster.
Health delegates in Hubei province stated 242 individuals had died from the novel coronavirus Wednesday, the fastest rise in the daily number since December, and bringing the total number of deaths in the province to 1,310. The previous highest daily increase in the toll was 103 on February 10.
Reports in state-run media stated provincial Communist Party boss Jiang Chaoliang had been dismissed as secretary of the Hubei Provincial Committee, and Ma Guoqiang had been sacked as party chief in the provincial capital Wuhan.
The reports didn’t state a reason for the dismissals; however, the two are the most high-profile Chinese delegates to date to be removed from office after the coronavirus epidemic that started in Wuhan.
Dozens of low-level health officers throughout the nation have also lost their jobs for failing to contain the epidemic, which is believed to have risen from a seafood market in Wuhan where illegal trade was made.
The hike in the death count came a day after China had reported its lowest number of new cases in two weeks, sustaining a forecast by the nation’s senior medical consultant that the epidemic might end by April.
Another 14,840 cases had been reported in Hubei Thursday, from 2,015 across the nation a day before, after provincial delegates began using computerized tomography (CT) scans to look for signs of the virus.