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China reports sharp rise in coronavirus cases

Yuan Yang in Beijing and Tom Mitchell in Singapore

The Chinese government on Thursday sacked its top two officials in Hubei, the province at the centre of the coronavirus epidemic, just hours after announcing a sharp rise in new infections and deaths from the disease. Hubei reported 14,840 new cases — a tenfold surge over the number reported on Wednesday, while new fatalities more than doubled to 242. The sudden increase stemmed from changes in the methodology for how officials are counting coronavirus cases.