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Surge in Chinese virus cases fuels public distrust of official data

Broader criteria aim to catch false negatives that let virus spread

China now counts potential coronavirus cases in Hubei Province as "confirmed" if a CT scan shows pneumonia.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- A massive jump in coronavirus cases in Hubei Province, the center of the epidemic, was reported Wednesday after a change in criteria, providing fodder to skeptics of the government's figures.

The provincial tally swelled by 14,840 in one day to 48,206, according to the government's daily report Thursday. Of the new cases, 13,332 were "clinically diagnosed" based on symptoms rather than tests that have proved somewhat unreliable.

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