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Deaths from the novel coronavirus have increased to 2,130, representing a ten-fold surge in three weeks from 213 deaths as reported on 30 January, the same day on which the WHO declared the epidemic as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
South Korea reported the death of a coronavirus patient linked to the Cheongdon Daenam hospital cluster. To date, the total number of cases in the country stands at 104.
In Iran, two elderly citizens in Qom city died from Covid-19, said Alireza Vahabzadeh, an adviser to the country’s health minister. Further details of the patients were not disclosed.
Also, two Japanese passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have died from the novel coronavirus. Both the patients were in their 80s with underlying health conditions, reported local media.
NHC new calculation method for Covid-19 cases
China’s National Health Commission has again changed its calculation method for Covid-19 infections. The NHC will now categorise patients as suspected cases and confirmed cases, removing the category of the clinically diagnosed cases.
A calculation adjustment was initially made on 12 February, when the number of cases jumped to 14,840 in Hubei Province alone, including 13,332 clinically diagnosed cases.
With the latest change, Hubei reported 349 new cases, a drop from 1,693 cases the previous day.
The number of newly recovered patients in the province stands at 1,209, exceeding the number of infections for the first time.
According to NHC spokesperson Mi Feng, the newly cured and discharged cases in Hubei, excluding Wuhan, has surpassed the number of newly confirmed infections for four consecutive days as of 19 February.
The total number of cases rose to more than 75,700, including 74,576 in mainland China. The number of recoveries also increased to approximately 16,300.
Diamond Princess updates
Approximately 180 Australians repatriated from the cruise have landed in Darwin and will be subjected to a second 14-day quarantine period. The total number of cases on the cruise was 621, as of the end of 19 February.
Read death toll update of 19 February here.