China allows gradual opening of Wuhan after Xi’s visit to coronavirus epicenter
Beijing, Mar 11 : As the coronavirus showed signs of abating after virtually shutting down China for over two months, the Communist nation limped back to normalcy with measured opening of businesses in the worst-hit Wuhan city even as authorities reported 22 new fatalities, taking the death toll to 3,158.
A day after President Xi Jinping’s first visit to Hubei province capital Wuhan since the virus outbreak, Chinese officials on Wednesday announced differentiated business and production resumption plans based on the epidemic situations.
Hubei province with over 50 million people was under lockdown since January 23. Wuhan and the sprawling province bore the brunt of the virus after it reportedly originated from a local live animal market in December last.
China also began initiating measures to gradually restart its massive economic engine, which was virtually remained shut down since January fourth week.
The plans, announced by local officials in Wuhan, allows businesses that support the supply of medical resources, daily necessities, and agricultural materials to return to work.
Enterprises that are related to the national economy, people’s livelihood, and the global industrial chain are also encouraged to gradually resume operations with approval.
Though slowed down, the coronavirus continue to cause fatalities as China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said on Wednesday that 24 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 22 deaths have been reported.
All the 22 deaths were in the virus epicentre Hubei province and its capital Wuhan, it said.
The overall confirmed cases on the mainland reached 80,778 by the end of Tuesday, including 3,158 people who died of the disease in the last three months, 16,145 patients undergoing treatment and 61,475 discharged after recovery, it said.
With COVID-19 gradually abating in the country, China has now braced itself to deal with the growing number of “imported cases” as more foreigners and locals started arriving in Beijing and different cities to join duties.
Officials in Beijing on Wednesday tightened up quarantine checks at the airports and epidemic prevention measures in foreign communities.
Beijing reported six new imported cases of coronavirus on Tuesday. Five of the confirmed cases are from Italy, and one is from the US, officials said.
As of Tuesday, a total of 435 confirmed cases had been reported in Beijing. Of all, 326 have been discharged from hospital after recovery, and eight have died.