According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronavirus cases are not rising dramatically outside China despite a spike in Hubei province.
The only exception was on the Diamond Princess cruise liner docked in Japan, where 44 new cases were reported, bringing the total there to 218.
According to the WHO, there was also no major shift in the coronavirus’s pattern of mortality or severity.
On February 12, Hubei recorded 242 deaths, the deadliest day of the outbreak.
There was also a huge increase in cases, with 14,840 people diagnosed but most of this was down to Hubei using a broader definition to diagnose people, said Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s health emergencies program.
He said: “This does not represent a significant change in the trajectory of the outbreak.”
Outside China there had been two deaths and 447 cases in 24 countries, he said.
Coronavirus: US Declares Public Health Emergency
China Coronavirus: Lockdowns Across Hubei Province
China Coronavirus: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment
On February 13, Japan announced its first coronavirus death – a woman in her 80s who lived in Kanagawa, south-west of Tokyo.
The woman’s diagnosis was confirmed after her death and she had no obvious link to China’s Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, Japanese media reported.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship is in quarantine in Yokohama. Not all the 3,700 people on board have been tested yet.
People with the virus are taken to hospitals on land to be treated, while those on board are largely confined to their cabins.
On February 13, Japan said it would allow those aged 80 or over who have tested negative for the coronavirus to disembark.
Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said they could be allowed off the ship as early as February 14 but would have to stay in accommodation provided by the government, the Japan Times reported.
Meanwhile another cruise ship – the MS Westerdam – carrying more than 2,000 people docked in Cambodia after being turned away by ports in Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Thailand despite having no sick patients on board.
Until February 13 increases, the number of people with the virus in Hubei was stabilizing.
The new cases and deaths in the province have pushed the national death toll above 1,350 with almost 60,000 infections in total.
White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said there had been “surprise” in the US at the new cases.
He said: “We’re a little disappointed in the lack of transparency coming from the Chinese, these numbers are jumping around.”
The Trump administration was also disappointed that China had not accepted a US offer to send experts to help China respond to the outbreak, Larry Kudlow said.
China sacked two top officials in Hubei province hours after the new figures were revealed.
Only Hubei province – which accounts for more than 80% of overall Chinese infections – is using the new definition to diagnose new cases.