China’s Hubei province recorded a huge spike in the number of Wuhan coronavirus cases on Thursday, announcing almost 15,000 new cases and 242 additional deaths in just 24 hours. It is the largest single-day increase since the outbreak began. It came as the province — where the outbreak began — changed its methods of diagnosis.Hubei has started using CT scans to check people for infections and confirm cases, rather than only relying on blood tests that can take days to process and which the city of Wuhan is struggling to source.But the figures being reported by China were already treated with suspicion, with research suggesting the actual number infected was much higher.Experts also say the diagnosis method will unlikely address this gap.Other provinces in China have also not made the same changes as Hubei, and the country has not yet updated its overall toll, meaning the exact national figures are not known.Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, recorded a dramatic spike of almost 15,000 new cases and 242 new deaths in just 24 hours after provincial authorities changed their method for diagnosing cases.
The Hubei Health Commission announced Thursday that it had started using a different method to test for the coronavirus — using CT scans to check bodies for infections.This would allow hospitals to identify the patients and isolate them faster, Reuters reported the commission as saying.
A medical worker helps a patient with CT scan at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University on February 2, 2020.
Authorities had previously used RNA tests, which require taking patients’ blood and testing for the coronavirus in labs.But getting results from this method can take days, and health authorities in Hubei have reported a shortage of test kits.