Beijing (China) | Jagran News Desk: As many as 242 people were killed in single day due to the novel coronavirus in China, taking the death toll to 1,355 across the country. The deadly disease, which originated in China’s Wuhan, has affected nearly 60,000, said China’s National Health Commission on Thursday.

The commission has said that it has changed the way they diagnose COVID-19 cases. In a statement, the commission said that it would now include cases that were "clinically diagnosed" in its official toll which means lung imaging on suspected cases can be considered sufficient to diagnose the virus, rather than the standard nucleic acid tests.

It further said that the change would mean patients could get treatment "as early as possible" and be "consistent" with the classification used in other provinces while adding that the change "as our understanding of pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus deepens, and as we accumulate experience in diagnosis and treatment".

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Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has cautioned that it was "way too early" to say whether COVID-19 might have peaked or when it might end, following a drop in new cases.

"I think it's way too early to try to predict the beginning, the middle or the end of this epidemic right now," Michael Ryan, head of WHO's health emergencies programme, said.

The number of newly reported cases from China has stabilised in the past week but that has to be interpreted with extreme caution, said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

He also praised Cambodia for agreeing to take in the Westerdam, a US cruise ship that has been rejected at several Asian ports over coronavirus fears.

"This is an example of the international solidarity we have consistently been calling for," he said.

"Outbreaks can bring out the best and worst in people. Stigmatising individuals or entire nations does nothing but harm the response.

"Instead of directing all our energy against the outbreak, stigma diverts our attention and turns people against each other," he added.

(With agency inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma