BEIJING (AP) — China on Friday reported one other sharp rise within the variety of individuals contaminated with a brand new virus, because the demise toll neared 1,400. The Nationwide Well being Fee mentioned 121 extra individuals had died and there have been 5,090 new confirmed circumstances.The variety of reported circumstances has been rising extra shortly after the hardest-hit province modified its technique of counting them Thursday. There are actually 63,851 confirmed circumstances in mainland China, of which 1,380 have died.Hubei province is now together with circumstances based mostly on a doctor’s analysis and earlier than they’ve been confirmed by lab checks. Of the 5,090 new circumstances, 3,095 fell into that class. The acceleration within the variety of circumstances doesn’t essentially characterize a sudden surge in new infections of the virus that causes COVID-19 as a lot as a revised methodology. “I think however can’t be sure that the underlying pattern remains to be downwards,” mentioned Paul Hunter, a professor of well being safety on the College of East Anglia in England. “It nearly actually doesn’t imply that there was a resurgence of the epidemic in a single day.”China’s Well being Fee has mentioned that the change was aimed toward figuring out suspected circumstances through which the affected person has pneumonia to allow them to be handled extra shortly and scale back the chance of extra severe sickness or demise.Specialists additionally noticed it as a mirrored image of a chaotic crush of individuals searching for remedy and the wrestle to maintain up with a backlog of untested samples in Hubei province and its capital metropolis, Wuhan, the place the illness first surfaced in December.“Clearly in Wuhan, the well being system is beneath excessive stress and so the primary precedence needs to be the affected person,” mentioned Mark Woolhouse, a professor of infectious illness epidemiology on the College of Edinburgh.Elsewhere, Japan confirmed one other case, a Japanese man in his 70s, a day after it reported its first demise from the virus. Japan now has 252 confirmed circumstances, together with 218 from a cruise ship that has been quarantined in Yokohama.Greater than 560 circumstances have been confirmed exterior mainland China and three deaths, one every within the Philippines and Hong Kong and now a Japanese girl in her 80s. Well being officers are investigating how she bought contaminated. In an unprecedented try to comprise the illness, the Chinese language authorities has positioned the hardest-hit cities — house to greater than 60 million — beneath lockdown. Persons are restricted from coming into or leaving the cities, and in lots of locations can solely depart their properties or residential complexes for buying and different day by day wants.___Associated Press writers Maria Cheng in London and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.