A total of 1,716 Chinese medical workers had been infected with the novel coronavirus by February 11, accounting for 3.8 percent of the overall confirmed cases in China, the National Health Commission said on Friday.
The death toll in China rose to at least 1,483 as Hubei reported 116 more fatalities.
That's a major spike, but nowhere near the 14,840 new cases reported Thursday - the largest single-day rise since the epidemic began.
More than 64,400 people are now recorded as having been made ill by the virus in China, with the last two days showing a steep rise after a change in diagnostic methods.
The reports did not give a reason for the dismissals but the two are the most high-profile Chinese officials to be removed from duty following the coronavirus outbreak that began in Wuhan late previous year.
People inside China and around the world have raised questions about the initial response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Communist Party chiefs of both Wuhan and Hubei were removed from their positions yesterday and replaced with officials from outside the province.
Commission Vice Minister Zeng Yixin (曾益新) said that 1,716 health workers had been infected and six had died as of Tuesday, with the number of infected staff rising.
The extent of the epidemic seemed to deepen on Thursday after authorities in central Hubei province, the epicenter of the crisis, started counting patients who were "clinically diagnosed" via lung imaging, in addition to those who undergo lab tests. RNA, or ribonucleic acid, carries genetic information allowing for identification of organisms like viruses.
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The effects will be more significant than those of the 2003 SARS epidemic because of China's increased importance and integration within the world economy.
So far there have been a total of 218 infected cases, . after another 44 cases were confirmed Thursday.
"We've seen this spike in the number of cases reported in China, but this does not represent a significant change in the trajectory of the outbreak", said Ryan.
Vietnam has locked down a community northwest of Hanoi because of a cluster of COVID-19 cases.
A report in the New England Journal of Medicine claimed a woman who wasn't showing symptoms triggered a chain of coronavirus infections.
Cruise ship situation is "dynamic": There have now been 219 cases of the coronavirus found on board the cruise liner Diamond Princess, which is in quarantine off the coast of Yokohama in Japan. Provincial authorities said there are about 37,000 patients in hospital, 1,685 of whom are in critical condition.
The ship spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Thailand.
Hong Kong, where 50 cases have been confirmed, extended the suspension of schools to March 16.
A Vietnamese health official wearing a protective suit amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak sprays disinfectant on a motorcyle at a checkpoint in Son Loi commune in Vinh Phuc province on Thursday.