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World|health|February 13, 2020 / 10:35 AM
Coronavirus cases rise sharply as 242 people die in a day

AKIPRESS.COM - More than 14,800 new cases of the coronavirus have been reported in China's Hubei province - the epicentre of the outbreak, Sky News reports.

Health officials in the country have been using a new method to identify cases of COVID-19, the disease which is caused by the coronavirus.

A total of 242 people died from the flu-like virus on Wednesday - the fastest rise since the pathogen was identified in December.

There had been optimism that the number of infections was beginning to slow down. On Tuesday, China had reported its lowest number of new COVID-19 cases in two weeks.

But the World Health Organisation had warned that the apparent slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus epidemic should be treated with "extreme caution".

A total of 48,206 cases of COVID-19 are now being treated in Hubei province alone, most of them in the city of Wuhan.

According to the region's health commission, 33,693 people are still being treated in hospital - and 5,647 of them are said to be critically ill.

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