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WHO: New COVID-19 counting method will speed up response Updated: 2020-02-14 13:28:11 KST

That's the number of newly-confirmed COVID-19 cases that were reported Thursday in China's Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak.
It established a new daily record, and brought the number of confirmed cases in the region to over 48-thousand.
However, the surge came after health authorities in Hubei Province adopted a new methodology for diagnosing the virus.

"In Hubei province only, a trained medical professional can now classify a suspected case of COVID-19 as a clinically confirmed case on the basis of chest imaging rather than having to have a laboratory confirmation."

According to the WHO official, the new method allows clinicians to move and report cases quicker, without having to wait for lab confirmation.
It also ensures that people get clinical care more quickly.
It also allows public health responses in terms of contact tracing and other important public health measures to be initiated.
As for other parts of mainland China, the official said they still need to wait for cases to be confirmed in laboratories before they are officially counted.
Some have questioned the method, and its transparency, as its adoption only in Hubei Province will mean there are two tracks of data in China.
Others believe the new method will help international health officials see the true scope of the outbreak.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.
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