Coronavirus Death Toll Soars by 242 in a Single Day - Biggest Leap So Far
Total cases surges past 60,000 after China changes the way it diagnoses sufferers
The coronavirus death toll has soared by 242 in a single day, marking the biggest rise so far, according to the latest figures.
New data shows the total cases of patients infected with the deadly virus has now soared past 60,000.
In China's Hubei province there were 242 deaths recorded on Thursday alone.
Authorities have also found that even more people have been infected than they previously thought.
The Hubei Health Commission found there were 15,000 more confirmed cases than they thought after changing the way they record the virus.
The new information saw the global figure shoot up from 45,000 to 60,000 in a single day.
The commission is now including cases that were "clinically diagnosed" in its official toll, according to the Daily Mail.
The new figures that have surfaced are believed to account for more than half of the total fatalities.
The new deaths were more than twice the prior provincial daily record of 103 set on Monday.
State media said last week that Hubei will start recognizing computerized tomography (CT) scan results as confirmation of infections, allowing hospitals to isolate patients more quickly.
Reuters reported last month that a lack of RNA test kits in Hubei's capital Wuhan may have delayed patients from being properly diagnosed and treated, contributing to the spread of the virus in the early days of the outbreak.
It comes after the World Health Organisation said the number of cases of infection with the new coronavirus in China has stabilized, but added the apparent slowdown in the epidemic spread should be viewed with "extreme caution."
"This outbreak could still go in any direction," WHO's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in a briefing in Geneva.
At the end of a two-day meeting on science and innovation into measures to tackle the new viral outbreak, Tedros welcomed the "positive response of the research community" at short notice "to come up with concrete plans and commitment to work together."
He added that a WHO-led advance team that traveled to China earlier this week had made "good progress" on the composition and scope of its work.
China reported on Wednesday its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in two weeks.
Governments worldwide are currently focusing on containment to prevent the spread of the virus but, if it fails, this response will switch to mitigation.
China locked-down cities infected by the coronavirus, including Wuhan at the virus's epicenter, in a desperate effort to stop the disease spreading.
Some have criticized its measures as Draconian and expressed suspicions that the country hasn't been fully forthcoming about its cases, but the WHO on Wednesday praised China's swift and aggressive actions.
"The actions of China are making us all safer," said Director-General Dr. Tedros.