The official death toll has risen dramatically.

The outbreak of the coronavirus, which received the official name COVID-19 from the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday, continues to worsen.

In the Chinese province of Hubei, where the outbreak first occurred, 242 deaths were registered on Wednesday. In Hubei, which is currently in quarantine, the virus was officially diagnosed in 14,480 people.

According to the BBC, 135 of the deaths were officially classified as “clinically diagnosed”.

The news comes after the province has introduced a new method of counting those affected by the disease. Shortly after the latest figures became known, two senior officials were fired from their posts.

The national death toll for coronavirus cases in China is 1,350. Almost 60,000 infections have been registered since the virus was first reported in Wuhan on December 31, 2019. 42,206 of these infections are based in Hubei.

On Wednesday, WHO head of health emergency program Michael Ryan said it was unclear at what stage the coronavirus was.

“I think it is far too early to predict the beginning, middle or end of this epidemic,” said Ryan.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has now said that the outbreak “could go in any direction”.

On Thursday morning, the cruise ship MS Westerdam moored in Cambodia with over 2,000 people and was rejected by five ports, fearing that passengers on board could be infected with the corona virus.

Japan, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines and Thailand refused to have the ship docked.

218 cases of the virus have been confirmed on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, which is currently quarantined in Yokohama, Japan and carries 3,700 people on board.