242 deaths reported owing to the COVID 19 virus in the past few hours;Number of infected increases by 14 thousand

Thursday, 13 February 2020 - 7:57

China's Hubei province, the epicentre of the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak, reported nearly 15,000 new cases in one day.

A further 14 thousand 840 cases had been detected, taking the total in the province to 48 thousand 206.

The number of deaths rose by 242 to a total of 1,310 in Hubei alone and 1,355 in mainland China.

The huge jump came as local officials said they were broadening their definition for COVID-19 cases.

China's leadership had touted "positive results" from efforts to contain the epidemic, but warned it still faced a "large-scale war" against the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said it was "way too early" to predict the end of the epidemic.

WHO Director-General warned "This outbreak could still go in any direction,"