Nearly 15,000 new cases in Hubei Province

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases and virus-related deaths have jumped in the past day in the Chinese province of Hubei. Officials say there are 14,840 newly confirmed cases and an additional 242 people have died as of Wednesday, bringing the province's death toll to 1,310.

The new numbers mark a significant increase. Officials say the reason is that they began including cases diagnosed through new clinical methods. It comes after reports earlier this week that the rate of infections had been stabilizing.

At this point there are nearly 60,000 confirmed cases in mainland China. Officials have not released an updated official death toll as of Thursday morning.

President Xi Jinping says the country is at a critical juncture and called for all-out efforts to fight the virus.

State-run media said Xi expressed his determination to maintain economic and social stability during a meeting of top Communist Party leaders.