Coronavirus Updates: China’s leaders shake up political ranks as coronavirus cases near 60,000; Japan announces second virus fatality outside China

By Gerry Shih closeGerry ShihChina 

News of the reshuffle came hours after China announced a significant jump in infection numbers in Hubei. The surge followed a change in official methodology for diagnosing and counting cases, a shift that revived questions about the reliability of China’s data and testing methods.
Here’s what we know so far:
● The political shake-up in Communist Party ranks underscored Chinese leaders’ jitters about the potential for the outbreak to fuel domestic instability.
● China revised the total case numbers in Hubei province by an additional 15,000 — and raised the death tally by 242 — after it took into account cases in which doctors are allowed to diagnose patients based on clinical methods. The National Health Commission said Thursday the new case total for the country is 59,804, with 1,367 deaths.
● Beijing also used Thursday’s political shake-up to oust the head of its office overseeing Hong Kong, following months of turmoil in the semiautonomous financial center.
● Japan reported its first fatality from coronavirus, only the second worldwide outside of China. It also announced that 44 more people have tested positive for the new coronavirus on board the quarantined cruise liner Diamond Princess, bringing to 218 the number of infected.

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