The number of reported cases of the novel coronavirus, now named COVID-19, seemed to be leveling off before Chinese officials announced a major change Wednesday.
According to the New York Times, cases of COVID-19 in Hubei Province appear to have been underdiagnosed due to a lack of proper testing kits and other resources. Officials added more than 14,000 cases in Hubei Province, where Wuhan, China is the largest city.
Until the announcement, the worldwide number of cases was just over 45,100. Now, the number of cases in Hubei Province has exceeded that – with 48,206 total cases - and 1,310 deaths, a rise of 242.
The Times reports, a shortage of testing kits has resulted in a lack of diagnoses, so doctors are now making a diagnosis based on symptoms and scans of a patient's lungs, resulting in a spike in reported cases.
Meanwhile, a second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the U.S. among evacuees from China, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Associated Press reports the person was aboard a flight from the city of Wuhan that arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in Southern California last week. The patient was in isolation at a San Diego hospital, UC San Diego Health confirmed.
The new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was first identified in late December in the city of Wuhan, in central China. To date, it has spread to at least 24 countries.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. It was reported from Tampa, Florida.