SHANGHAI – The death toll from coronavirus outbreaks in mainland China rose to 1,367 from late Wednesday, up from 254 the day before, the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Thursday.

Across China, there were 15,115 new confirmed infections, bringing to 59,804, she said.

The sharp increases came after Hubei authorities said they had introduced using a new, faster diagnostic method using computed tomography (CT) scans, which the NCC said had diagnosed 13,332 new infections.

CT scans detect lung infections, the Hubei health commission said, and enable faster confirmation and isolation of new cases of the virus.

Hubei authorities had previously allowed the infections to be confirmed by RNA tests, which may take days to process. RNA, or ribonucleic acid, carries genetic information that allows the identification of organisms such as viruses.

The NHC does not account for a mismatch of a case, having reported that the total number collected as of Tuesday was 44,653.

(Reporting by Zoey Zhang and Brenda Goh; editing by John Stonestreet)