Coronavirus: Two senior Chinese officials ‘removed’ as death toll hits 1,000

New Delhi (NVI): China has reported 108 new coronavirus deaths, the highest daily toll since the outbreak began in Wuhan late last year, as two senior officials in the hard-hit province of Hubei were removed from their jobs.

The total number of deaths on the mainland reached 1,016, the National Health Commission said. Some 2,478 new cases of infection were confirmed, bringing the total to 42,638.

Two senior health officials in the province – Zhang Jin who was party secretary of the health commission for Hubei and Ling Yingzi who was director of the Hubei Provincial Health Commission – were removed from their posts, state media reported, a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited health facilities in Beijing.

The two Hubei party officials will be replaced by a national figure – the deputy director of China’s National Health Commission, Wang Hesheng.

Meanwhile, 65 more people have tested positive on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship moored off Japan – meaning 135 out of 3,700 passengers have caught the virus.