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FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a mask is seen at the Shanghai railway station in Shanghai, China (REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a mask is seen at the Shanghai railway station in Shanghai, China (REUTERS)

Coronavirus: Hubei adds 4,823 cases; China death toll at 1,483

  • China’s Hubei province reported 4,823 additional coronavirus cases, in the second day after the region at the center of the outbreak changed its method for counting infections
  • The death toll in China rose to at least 1,483 as Hubei reported 116 more fatalities

China’s Hubei province reported 4,823 additional coronavirus cases, in the second day after the region at the center of the outbreak changed its method for counting infections.

The additional confirmed cases were much lower than the 14,840 that Hubei added when it first start counting patients with the new method, though roughly double what the province was reporting daily before the new method was used.

The death toll in China rose to at least 1,483 as Hubei reported 116 more fatalities. Japan reported a death on Thursday, for the third fatality outside of mainland China.

Key Developments

  • LATEST: Hubei infections up by 4,823; deaths in province rise by 116. Read this explainer
  • China death toll at least 1,483
  • Knocking on Hell’s Door’: Surviving the Coronavirus in Wuhan

Hubei Adds 4,823 Cases Under New Method (7:53 a.m. HK)

Hubei, the Chinese province at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, reported 4,823 additional confirmed cases for Feb. 13, according to a statement from Hubei’s health commission.

The new cases include 3,095 patients that are “clinically diagnosed" after the province changed its counting method. Hubei is adding clinical diagnosis cases, which refers to using CT imaging scans to diagnose patients, alongside those confirmed by the previous method of nucleic acid testing kits.

Hubei also reported 116 additional deaths, including eight from clinical diagnosis. That brings the total fatalities in China to at least 1,483. There have been three deaths reported outside of mainland China: in Hong Kong and the Philippines, and one fatality reported in Japan on Thursday.

The province said 690 patients were discharged within the 24-hour period.

Mattel Says Virus to Delay Toy Production (7:33 a.m. HK)

Toy production will be delayed in the first quarter because of the coronavirus, Mattel Inc. executives said on a conference call.

While Mattel has no manufacturing in Wuhan, the city at the center of the epidemic, Chinese government guidelines are affecting the availability of a manufacturing work force elsewhere. Mattel’s factories were scheduled to restart Feb. 3, but now production won’t resume until Feb. 17.

Royal Caribbean Cancels 18 Southeast Asia Cruises (6:44 a.m. HK)

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has canceled 18 sailings and rejiggered itineraries in response to the coronavirus outbreak, putting a crimp on the cruise company’s 2020 profit.

The upheaval will reduce earnings by 65 cents a share this year, Royal Caribbean said. And if the company has to cancel its remaining departures in Asia through the end of April -- something it’s not currently planning to do -- it would lop an additional 55 cents off its outlook.

China Expresses ‘Regret’ Over Australia Travel Ban (6:35 a.m. HK)

Australia’s decision to ban people from entering the country from mainland China until at least Feb. 22 due to the coronavirus outbreak is causing renewed friction with its largest trading partner.

After Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday announced the restriction, originally due to expire on Saturday, would be in place for at least an extra week, the Chinese Embassy in Canberra issued a statement expressing its “deep regret and dissatisfaction."

“Only Australia and a small number of countries have taken such extreme measures which are overreaction indeed," it said.

Kudlow Criticizes China Transparency Over Virus (1:27 p.m. NY)

The White House’s top economic adviser heightened U.S. criticism of China’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, echoing ongoing doubts about the accuracy of counts of new cases and deaths.

“We thought there was better transparency coming out of China, but it doesn’t appear to be," Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, told reporters at the White House Thursday.

Kudlow said the U.S. was disappointed that American health experts still hadn’t been allowed in, and questioned the details behind the more than 13,000 cases China added to its total Thursday.

“We don’t know if it’s contained in China. We thought they were tailing off in their headcount. It turns out that might not be the case," Kudlow said. “On this particular matter, we are quite disappointed in China’s response.“

China Considers Delaying Parliament Meeting, Kyodo Says (12:04 p.m. NY)

China is considering whether it will postpone its national political meeting that is slated for March 5, the Japanese news organization Kyodo reported, citing unidentified sources close to the matter.

The National People’s Congress gathering is China’s biggest annual political event, and any delay would be the first in decades.

China’s economic targets for the year are usually published after the meeting. A final decision will be made based on when the coronavirus spread reaches its peak, Kyodo said.

White House Raises Doubts About China Counts: Reports (11:56 a.m. NY)

The Trump administration isn’t confident in the information coming out of China about the coronavirus, according to reports from Fox News and CNBC citing anonymous administration sources.

Current counts from China put the number of cases of the new coronavirus at about 60,000, as of Thursday morning. Estimates by outside experts have for several weeks now suggested far higher figures that China’s numbers, and hospitals and health workers at the center of the outbreak in the province of Hubei have been overwhelmed.

In public, Trump has repeatedly praised the Chinese government’s response, and

The U.S. has offered to send health experts to the front lines of the outbreak, as part of a World Health Organization-led delegation to study the coronavirus and the illness it causes. U.S. officials have said those offers have been ignored so far, and the WHO declined to comment Thursday on whether Americans would be included.

WHO Says Added Group of Cases Date Back Days, Weeks (10:45 a.m. NY)

A top World Health Organization official said that the more than 13,000 new Chinese cases reported Thursday are older and don’t represent a sudden surge in new infections.

“Most of these cases relate to a period going back over days and weeks, in some cases back to beginning out of the outbreak itself," said Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme. “This increase you’ve seen in the last 24 hours is largely down to how cases are being diagnosed and reported."

Early Thursday morning, authorities in Hubei province, where the outbreak is centered, said they could count cases diagnosed through clinical symptoms such as a cough, and a chest scan showing signs of pneumonia. The new criteria allow cases to be added without a positive diagnostic test.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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