A further 14 thousand 840 cases had been detected, taking the total in the province to 48 thousand 206.
Health officials in Hubei province said 242 people had died from the flu-like virus on Wednesday, the fastest rise in the daily count since the pathogen was identified in December, and bringing the total number of deaths in the province to 1,310.
"If they were totally frank about the picture and divulged the situation from day one, then the party secretary and mayor would lose their jobs, plus the state propaganda machinery would direct the anger of the people towards the local officials", said Willy Lam, an expert in Chinese politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
China's leadership had touted "positive results" from efforts to contain the epidemic, but warned it still faced a "large-scale war" against the outbreak.More news: Decision to cancel the 2020 version of Mobile World Congress Party
The province reported a dramatic spike in confirmed virus cases Thursday, raising the total number of nationwide infections to almost 60,000 after Hubei authorities changed the way they count infections.
New addition of lung imaging has been termed as "clinically diagnosed cases" in the tally of cases to make it easier for these patients with lung infections to receive treatment early.
"This outbreak could go in any direction", he added. "Outside China, there are 393 cases in 24 countries, and 1 death", said Dr Ghebreyesus.
Russia in connection with the spread of the coronavirus previously closed all regular flights of Russian airlines in China.
"In Singapore, we are at the beginning of the outbreak".More news: Call of Duty Modern Warfare battle royale map has leaked
Some 300 scientists and donors gathered in Geneva on Tuesday and Wednesday for the first global conference on the virus hosted by the WHO.
An advance team of World Health Organization experts has been in China since Monday.
The biggest cluster of cases outside China is on the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined off Japan's port of Yokohama, with about 3,700 people on board.
Cambodia finally agreed to let it land, the Holland America Line said. This will help WHO focus on the health response while the other agencies can bring their expertise to bear on the wider social, economic and developmental implications of the outbreak.More news: Trump praises Barr, attacks prosecutors in Roger Stone case