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NICD: Spike in coronavirus infections in China likely to change in methodology

China reported a massive spike in the number of cases detected on Wednesday.

This photo taken on 4 February 2020 shows a medical staff member (R) taking samples from a person to be tested for the new coronavirus at a quarantine zone in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, in China's central Hubei province. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Thursday said the additional 14,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in China in the last 24 hours could be linked to the change in defining the virus.

Chinese authorities had moved to detect cases through new clinical methods. The death toll now stands at over 1,300.

How to track the coronavirus outbreak

China reported a massive spike in the number of cases detected on Wednesday.

Professor Cheryl Cohen of the NICD said: “Previously in China, they were reporting laboratory-confirmed cases that were diagnosed on a very specific test. Now it seems the Chinese have moved to what we call a clinical case definition, which is really signs and symptoms with an X-ray or radiologic evidence of infection.”