Coronavirus: latest updates as reports suggest sharp spike in deaths and cases

Nearly 60,000 people have now been diagnosed with the virus in China, with Wednesday being the deadliest day of the outbreak so far

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China reshuffled its top officials in Hubei, as the number of new cases and deaths surged after the province at the centre of the coronavirus epidemic revised its method for counting infections.

Fatalities in the area climbed by 242, bringing China’s death toll to at least 1,355. The number of infections jumped by 14,840, sending the total number of cases in China toward 60,000.

Japan confirmed 44 more cases on a quarantined cruise ship, bringing the total of infections from the vessel to 218. Hong Kong extended the closure of schools until March 16.

In the UAE, an eighth case was confirmed a day after a female patient was discharged. Six others remain in a stable condition.

Here are the main developments: