THURSDAY, Feb. 20, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The number of COVID-19 cases in China dropped Thursday, but the decline might just be due to new methods in how case numbers are tallied.

The decline in Chinese cases was due in part to Chinese health officials again changing how they tally infections. Now, they are discounting patients whose lab tests come back negative and they are refining how they first assess sick patients, the Associated Press reported. Under the new system, 394 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed Thursday, while 279 were discounted, the wire service said. There has now been a total of 74,576 cases and 2,118 deaths in mainland China.

Also on Thursday, two infected passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that had been quarantined in Japan died. The two cruise ship passengers who died were an elderly Japanese couple who had been hospitalized during the quarantine, the AP reported. The ship’s quarantine ended Wednesday.

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