China replaces leading officials in Hubei and Wuhan

Top officials ousted after number of daily Wuhan virus infections dramatically increases in Hubei province

Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong is appointed secretary of Hubei province. (Facebook photo)

Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong is appointed secretary of Hubei province. (Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) fired its top officials in Wuhan on Thursday (Feb. 13) after the epicenter of the Wuhan virus outbreak reported a soaring number of new cases.

The CCP Central Commission said the number of confirmed patients in virus-stricken Hubei Province increased by a record-setting 14,840 cases on Wednesday (Feb. 12), leading to widespread public anger from Chinese citizens. As new diagnostic methods are employed, the daily number of deaths in the province more than doubled, according to Liberty Times.

CCP's Hubei Secretary Jiang Chaoliang (蔣超良) and Wuhan chief Ma Guoqiang (馬國強) were both stripped of their titles and will be replaced by Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong (應勇) and former Jinan Secretary Wang Zhonglin (王忠林), respectively. Ying worked very closely with China's General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平) during his time as the governor of Zhejiang province, reported Reuters.

The replacement is seen as the CCP's response to heavy criticism of the Hubei government authorities and their delayed handling of the epidemic. As of Thursday afternoon, Hubei had reported 48,206 infections and 1,310 deaths.

Jiang Chaoliang removed as Hubei secretary. (Facebook photo)

Wuhan CCP chief Ma Guoqiang fired for inability to contain virus. (Facebook photo)