Residents wear protective clothes and mask as they line up to pay in the supermarket on February 12, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. Flights, trains and public transport including buses, subway and ferry services have been closed for 21 days. The number of those who have died from the Wuhan coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, in China climbed to 1117. (Photo by Stringer/Getty Images)

China's Hubei province reported 14,840 new coronavirus cases and 242 deaths on Thursday morning local time.

Since the outbreak began in the city of Wuhan in December, it has killed about 1,360 people and infected more than 60,000 across the globe. (For the latest case total and death toll, see Business Insider's live updates.)

Wednesday's report marked the highest infection and death count in a single day since the outbreak began.

The enormous jump is likely due to a change in the way cases are counted and reported in Hubei.

Of the nearly 15,000 new cases, 13,332 were "clinically diagnosed," according to a release from the Hubei province's health commission, a lesser standard of diagnosis which is now being counted in the official figures.

That means the patients were diagnosed based on the fact that they have symptoms that match the coronavirus, or CT scans suggesting they have the virus, but without the certainty of confirmed lab-test results.

These clinical diagnoses don't appear to have been included in prior daily case counts from Hubei province. The health commission said the clinical diagnoses were added to be more consistent with how other parts of China are reporting their results.

According to Reuters editor Vincent Lee in China, the high number of additional deaths likely includes some patients who had previously died but hadn't yet been confirmed to have the new coronavirus.

Hubei health officials also reported that an additional 9,028 patients are suspected to have the virus.

The coronavirus, officially called COVID-19, has spread to at least 26 countries. Cities across China have imposed partial or full quarantine to contain the virus's spread, which affect more than 50 million people.

Receive a cellphone message every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: