China’s Hubei province reported 4,823 additional coronavirus cases, confirming that the nearly 15,000 reported a day earlier was a one-off situation due to a new method for counting infections.
The latest figure is still roughly double what the province was reporting daily before the new method was used, and sets a new benchmark to measure the outbreak. The death toll in China rose to at least 1,483 as Hubei reported 116 more fatalities. Japan reported its first death Thursday.
U.S. officials escalated criticism of China’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, questioning the government’s transparency. The ecommerce giant Alibaba warned that the epidemic is having a broad impact on the Chinese economy, while a report said the country may delay its annual political meeting.
Hubei, the Chinese province at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, reported 4,823 additional confirmed cases for Thursday, according to a statement from Hubei’s health commission.
Among the new cases, 3,095 were diagnosed using CT scans — the new testing method — while the rest were confirmed with the traditional diagnostic process that uses nucleic acid tests.
A top World Health Organization official said that the new Chinese cases reported Thursday were older and don’t represent a sudden surge in new infections.