In breaking down the large number of new cases in China, National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said Hubei had adopted a revised diagnosis and treatment plan aimed at accelerating the identification and treatment of patients.
Former Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong succeeded Jiang Chaoliang as the ruling Communist Party chief in the beleaguered province, the Xinhua state news agency reported, while Wang Zhonglin took over from Ma Guoqiang as the party secretary in Wuhan.
"This outbreak could still go in any direction", he told reporters.
CCTV said 11 military aircraft including 6 Y-20 carried about the personnel and materials to Wuhan on Thursday.
Health workers in Hubei province began using a new method to diagnose the virus this week.
Previously, infections were only allowed to be confirmed with nucleic acid tests, which can take days to process, but Hubei province is now using CT scans which can diagnose the virus more quickly.
The surprise revision came amid mounting speculation that China was undercounting cases of the new coronavirus strain, as countries around the world struggle to contain a disease that appears to spread when patients show only mild symptoms.
"These sensational and unfounded allegations from a few Western media outlets have turned a blind eye to the unswerving efforts and huge sacrifice China and its people have made", it said.
But it has faced continued scepticism among the global public, with suggestions that there may be similarities with the way it dealt with the 2002-2003 outbreak.
Authorities in Hubei have been accused of concealing the gravity of the outbreak in early January because they were holding key political meetings at the time. The previous record rise in the toll was 103 on the 10 February.
The sudden jump in new cases raises questions about China's commitment to transparency, said Victor Shih, a specialist in Chinese politics at the School of Global Policy & Strategy at UC San Diego.
Another 44 people aboard a cruise ship that has been quarantined for over a week in Japan's Yokohama harbor tested positive for coronavirus Thursday, Japanese health officials said.
The US is also limiting flights from China or other global flights with US passengers who have been to China within the previous 14 days to 11 major airports for enhanced screening.
But the World Health Organization warned it was too soon to declare victory.
"We'd like to be able to predict the future, but we must be cautious", said Mike Ryan, the executive director of WHO's health emergencies program.
The Mobile World Congress, a telecoms industry gathering that draws more than 100,000 visitors to Barcelona, has been canceled after an exodus of exhibitors.
The change comes at a time when the central Chinese province is hit hard by the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak.