Over 5,000 new cases of coronavirus confirmed in single day in China

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases soared by more than 5,000 in one day, officials in China said Friday — as they announced that more than 1,700 medical workers have been infected by the deadly bug.

Cases in mainland China rose to 63,851 by the end of Thursday — up 5,090 from the day before — as the death toll reached 1,380, up by 121, the country’s National Health Commission said.

But the thousands of new reported cases don’t necessarily represent a sudden surge in new infections — as much as they reflect a new methodology adapted by officials in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

The province is now including cases based on a physician’s diagnosis before they are officially confirmed by lab tests. Out of the 5,090 new cases, 3,095 were diagnosed in this manner.

Officials say they are hopeful the new method can help identify suspected cases so they can be treated more quickly — though it also reflects the surge of people seeking treatment and the growing backlog of untested samples in Hubei and its capital, Wuhan.

Wuhan reported over 13,000 new cases of COVID-19 in one dayMedical worker in protective suit checks a patient's records at Jinyintan hospital in Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreakMedical worker in protective suit disinfects the hallway at Jinyintan hospital in WuhanMedical worker puts on protective suit before entering a sports centre which has been converted into a makeshift hospital to treat patients of the novel coronavirus, in Wuhan

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