Another change in COVID-19 diagnostic criteria

The latest numbers on the COVID-19 epidemic are:

76,199 confirmed cases, all but 1,200 in mainland China. 2,247 deaths have been reported, with 11 of them outside of mainland China. Here are the other headlines of the day:

Another change in diagnostic criteria

Caixin reports:

China’s top health authority changed its diagnostic guidelines for Covid-19 once again, applying stricter, unified criteria nationwide rather than a different, broader standard only for Hubei province as in the previous version.

The new, stricter diagnosing criteria are likely to result in further declines in the rate of reported new cases.

As Bloomberg notes (porous paywall), the change in the virus count method is fueling mistrust in official data. As the South China Morning Post puts it: there’s been a sharp fall in new Chinese coronavirus cases, but is it only because of new counting method? 

Efforts to restart economy

Reuters reports that some virus-hit industrial cities are starting “to ease curbs and restore production”:

The city of Foshan, a large manufacturer of electronics and household appliances in the southern province of Guangdong, said late on Tuesday that businesses no longer needed to seek approval before resuming operations and they need not require returning workers to show proof of their health.

China’s Wenzhou is also re-open entrances and exits of highways after a period of lockdown, per Reuters.

—Jeremy Goldkorn