It also mandated that all previously counted cases stand as part of the total confirmed tally.
Tu Yuanchao, deputy director of Hubei Health Committee, said at a press conference that all the cases that were confirmed but then retroactively dismissed because they no longer fitted reporting requirements would be added back to the total tally.
On Thursday -- based on China's National Health Commission’s narrowed criteria for confirmed tally to only include laboratory-confirmed cases -- Hubei authorities said they'd no longer count so-called “clinically diagnosed patients,” who are people exhibiting symptoms without testing positive for the virus. This caused Hubei’s total confirmed cases to drop by 279 on Thursday alone.
These adjustments in numbers have attracted huge public attention, caused some doubts about the data," Tu said during the press conference.
"As a result, Ying Yong, secretary of the provincial Party committee, attached great importance to this issue. He explicitly ordered that no subtraction be allowed for already-confirmed cases and all subtractions be added back."