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Coronavirus

China coronavirus deaths rise by 254 to 1,367 as of end-Wednesday

Total confirmed infections near 60,000, health commission says

A woman in face mask walks past the blocked entrance to a residential building in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, on Feb. 12.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -- The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China rose to 1,367 as of the end of Wednesday, up 254 from the previous day, the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Thursday.

Across mainland China, there were 15,152 new confirmed infections bringing the total to 59,804, it said.

The sharp increases came after Hubei authorities said they had introduced using a new, quicker diagnostic method using computerised tomography (CT) scans, which the NHC said had diagnosed 13,332 of the new infections.

The CT scans reveal lung infections, the Hubei health commission said, and enable confirmation and faster isolation of new virus cases.

Hubei authorities had previously only allowed infections to be confirmed by RNA tests, which can take days to process. RNA, or ribonucleic acid, carries genetic information allowing for identification of organisms like viruses.

The NHC did not account for a discrepancy of one case, as it had reported that the total accumulated number as of Tuesday was 44,653.

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