Thursday 13 February 2020 8:36 am

Coronavirus: Hubei province leader sacked after spike in deaths

The top leader of Hubei province, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak, has been sacked after a dramatic spike in deaths and new cases. 

The death toll increased by 242 in the province on Wednesday, with 14,840 people diagnosed with the coronavirus. 

The Communist Party secretary in Hubei, Jiang Chaoliang, has been replaced by the Shanghai party chief, Ying Yong. 

It is the first major change of Hubei officials, who have come under heavy criticism, since the coronavirus outbreak began. 

Authorities have started using a broader definition to diagnose people bringing the total number of infections in the province to 48,206. 

Hubei’s health commission said that it is now including people diagnosed via CT scans as well as via testing kits.

The health commission said the CT scans will help patients get treatment more quickly and improve chances of recovery.

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The new testing methodology for the coronavirus is only being used in the Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital.

The increase brings the national death toll above 1,350, with almost 60,000 infections in total in China. 

The rapid spread of infection across the globe has caused a number of events to be cancelled for fear of further infection. 

The world’s largest mobile phone showcase, Mobile World Congress, has been cancelled over coronavirus concerns.

The GSM Association said it had become impossible for the event to go ahead as planned in Barcelona.

Additionally the Singapore leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series could be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to Reuters. 

Yesterday the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in London.

The patient is reportedly a woman who contracted the virus in China and has been transferred to Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital. 

The number of confirmed cases in the UK has now reached nine.