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China recorded zero domestic infection of COVID-19; allows inter-province travel

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on March 19, 2020 Published on March 19, 2020

 

As the coronavirus pandemic rampages across the world, the epicentre of the disease - China, has marked a major milestone in curbing the virus in the country. On Tuesday, China has recorded zero domestic infections for the first time since the outbreak erupted in late December, Agence France Presse reported.

The coronavirus epidemic has now turned the tables, as more people are infected and have died abroad than in China. Italy has recorded the highest number of deaths in a day. The death toll on Wednesday was 145.

According to the National Health Commission, there are no new cases reported in Wuhan -- the city where the first case of the virus was reported.

The city of Wuhan that sustains 11 million people were placed under lockdown on January 23. While Hubei province with a population of more than 40 million, was also placed under strict lockdown. In the following days, the rest of China witnessed a strict lockdown that limited public gatherings and announced temporary closure of major tech industries, AFP report added.

There have been around 81,000 infection cases in China, but only 7,263 people remain sick with the COVID-19 disease. Eight more deaths reported in China’s Hubei, raising the nationwide total to 3,245, according to the commission.

So far, the number of infected cases across the world has surpassed 200,000, with more than 8,700 deaths.

On March 10, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan for the first time since the outbreak began and maintained that the spread of the disease was "basically curbed.”

After XI’s visit, Hubei officials eased restrictions and allowed people to travel within the province for the first time since January, excluding Wuhan.

On Wednesday, Hubei authorities decided to open its borders for healthy people from low-risk areas to venture out in other provinces of China if they have jobs or residences elsewhere. This also excludes Wuhan.

According to AFP, life in China is inching towards normalcy as people are back at work, factories slowly opening their shutters, and schools are resuming their classes.

The second wave of the virus

While China has successfully managed to contain the virus, there are concerns related to the second wave of the COVID-19 sweeping mainland China as an average of 20,000 Chinese people are being evacuated and flying into China every day. Beijing and other regions are now arranged a 14-day quarantine period for most international arrivals in designated hotels, as per the AFP report.

The National Health Commission said there were 34 more cases brought in from abroad, the biggest daily increase in two weeks, with 189 in total now.

"We should never allow the hard-won and continuous positive trend to be reversed," Xi said at a Communist Party leadership meeting on Wednesday.

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Published on March 19, 2020
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