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Thu Feb 13, 2020, 10:25 AM

Live updates: China's leaders shake up political ranks as coronavirus cases near 60,000

Source: Washington Post

China's Communist Party removed senior officials in the virus-stricken province of Hubei, as the country's leadership looks to tighten control over its epidemic response and assuage public outrage over authorities' handling of the coronavirus crisis.

The ruling party said Thursday that it fired Jiang Chaoliang, a former banker who had been party secretary of Hubei province since 2016. He will be replaced by Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong. Ma Guoqiang, the party boss overseeing Wuhan, the city at the center of the outbreak, has been replaced by Wang Zhonglin, an official from eastern Shandong province.

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:
● Japan reported its first fatality from coronavirus, only the second worldwide outside 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.
● 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.
● The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the 15th case of coronavirus in the United States. The person had been under quarantine in Texas after arriving on a State Department chartered plane from Wuhan on Feb. 7.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/coronavirus-china-live-updates/2020/02/13/fce6e116-4dea-11ea-b721-9f4cdc90bc1c_story.html?utm_campaign=wp_main&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

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