China has reported 108 new coronavirus deaths on February 10, the highest daily toll since the outbreak began in Wuhan late last year, as two senior officials in the hard-hit province of Hubei were removed from their jobs.
The total number of deaths on the mainland reached 1,016 in the 24 hours until midnight, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday. Some 2,478 new cases of infection were confirmed, bringing the total to 42,638.
Of the most recent deaths, 103 were in the province of Hubei, including 67 in the provincial capital of Wuhan.
Two senior health officials in the province – Zhang Jin who was party secretary of the health commission for Hubei and Ling Yingzi who was director of the Hubei Provincial Health Commission – were removed from their posts, state media reported on Tuesday, a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited health facilities in Beijing.
The death toll in China from the coronavirus outbreak continued to climb on Wednesday and 39 more people on a cruise ship off Japan were diagnosed with the infection as the World Health Organization (WHO) warned the virus – now named COVID-19 – posed a “grave threat” to the world.
The WHO is holding a conference in Geneva on combating the virus.
Its chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said viruses could have “more powerful consequences than any terrorist action”.
Deaths in mainland China now stand at 1,113 with the number of confirmed cases nationwide totalling 44,653.
Although 99 percent of the infections are in China, where the outbreak remains “very much an emergency”, and it also “holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world”, Tedros said at the conference.
Two deaths have been recorded outside mainland China – one in Hong Kong and one in the Philippines.