The death toll arising from the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in China which has fast spread across the globe has surged past 1,300 with Chinese health officials revealing that infections are nearing 60,000.
Officials in China’s hard-hit central province of Hubei further reported on Thursday that 242 more infected people died from the deadly coronavirus COVID-19 as of Wednesday- the highest in a single day and more than twice the previous record high.
Reports say the head of the Communist party in the province of Hubei has been relieved of his post and has been replaced by former Shanghai Mayor, Ying Yong, who now becomes the new secretary of the Hubei Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China.
Al Jazeera’s Katrina Yu, reporting from Beijing, said “it was expected that somebody’s head was on the chopping block”.
“There’s been a lot of criticism about the information not being so forthcoming” from Hubei officials, she added.
This comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) which is holding a conference in Geneva on combating the outbreak warned that the virus – now named COVID-19 – posed a “grave threat” to the world.
WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the coronavirus could have “more powerful consequences than any terrorist action”.