Coronavirus updates: China increases Wuhan death toll by 50%

Samara Heisz/iStock(NEW YORK) — More than 2.1 million people have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus worldwide as the spread of the virus continues.

The global coronavirus death toll stands at more than 145,000 people, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to a number of deaths in which a person is not tested for the virus.

Many cities and states have begun counting probable deaths caused by COVID-19, including New York City, the epicenter of the disease in the United States.

The U.S. has more cases and deaths than any country in the world, with at least 671,425 diagnosed cases and at least 33,286 deaths. Just 24 hours prior, the death toll was 28,364.

More than 56,000 people in the U.S. have recovered from COVID-19.

Here’s how the news is developing Friday. All times Eastern:

6:35 a.m.: China increases Wuhan death toll by 50%

Chinese officials overnight said they had underestimated the number of people that died from COVID-19 at the epicenter of the outbreak, in Wuhan, by 50%. The country added 1,290 dead to its readjusted total for Wuhan, with a death toll that now stands at 3,869 in the city.

China said this was not a cover-up, rather an adjustment to numbers based on new information coming from places like prisons and care facilities.

The timing of this adjustment comes as President Donald Trump criticized China for its underreporting of deaths and cases at the start of the outbreak.

French President Emmanuel Macron added his voice to the growing skepticism of China’s handling of the pandemic.

“There are clearly things that have happened that we don’t know about,” Macron told the Financial Times.

3:45 a.m.: Illinois has deadliest day since pandemic began

As President Donald Trump talks with governors about reopening the country and cautious optimism rises with COVID-related hospital admissions down in many cities, Illinois had its worst day since the pandemic began.

At least 125 people died in the state in the last 24 hours, which brings the statewide coronavirus death to at least 1,072 residents.

“While these numbers are disheartening, I don’t want people to despair,” Illinois Dept. of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said, according to ABC Chicago station WLS-TV. “Instead, I want them to renew our collective resolve to do what is needed to end the pandemic. We continue to learn and amass new information about this virus every single day.”

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker also announced Thursday new testing sites in the state and that Illinois has joined a coalition of other Midwestern governors to explore how to improve their economies.

The state’s unemployment rate rose 1.2%, to 4.6%, Thursday and lost at least 34,000 jobs, the Illinois Department of Employment Security announced. Nationwide, the staggering number of people who have filed for unemployment amid the pandemic has suppressed 20 million. More than 5.2 million filed for unemployment insurance just in the last week, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.

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