Beijingers woke up to a nasty shock this morning to see that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Hubei province had jumped by nearly 15,000 in one day (to a total of 48,0206), as compared to the 1,638 new cases reported on Tuesday. Luckily, the influx in cases was not the result of a particularly virulent day but an alteration in the way patients are being diagnosed.
The increase of 44 percent is attributable to the fact that the Provincial Health Commission now considers patients who are clinically diagnosed – as opposed to those who have tested positive for having the virus – as having the coronavirus and are lumped in with the confirmed patient figures, reports China Daily.
The change reflects a growing ability for doctors to pinpoint whether or not a patient is suffering from the virus via methods such as lung images, physical conditions, and epidemiological history. For example, of the 14,840 new cases in Hubei on Wednesday, 13,332 were clinically diagnosed by medical staff. Meanwhile, death rates continue to grow with Hubei reporting 242 deaths on Wednesday for a national total of 1,368. Total confirmed cases in China stand at 59,864.
China Daily also provides some insight into the efficacy of testing for the virus, noting how some patients are slow to show positive results using the nucleic acid tests, with some even needing three or four tests before being confirmed despite showing symptoms of infection.
With Hubei’s new criteria in place, it is hoped that people with signs of the virus can be hospitalized faster and pose less of a threat in spreading it to others. For now, there is no word on whether a similar system will be rolled out nationwide but we can expect that additional alterations will be made down the line as the situation evolves.
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Photo: Hindustan Times