China says coronavirus ‘stemmed’ in country; Wuhan begins easing restrictions
Beijing, Mar 23 : As the world battles the fast-paced spared of the coronavirus pandemic, China on Monday said that COVID-19 has effectively been “stemmed” in the country and it started easing severe restrictions imposed on Wuhan’s 11 million people who were under lockdown since January 23.
The authorities began relaxing restrictions in Wuhan as it reported no new case for the fifth consecutive day on Monday.
The country’s National Health Commission (NHC) said that no new domestic cases of coronavirus have been reported but confirmed 39 imported infections as the government ramped up measures to strictly quarantine people coming from abroad to prevent a recurrence of the virus outbreak.
The death toll in the country has climbed to 3,270 with nine fatalities on Sunday.
The overall confirmed cases on the mainland have reached 81,093 by Sunday.
It included 3,270 people who died of the disease, 5,120 patients still undergoing treatment 72,703 patients discharged after recovery, the NHC said.
Significantly, the Central Leading Group (CLP), headed by Premier Li Keqiang which is coordinating efforts to contain the virus since January 23, said the virus has been stemmed in the country as well as in Wuhan.
“The meeting noted that the spread of the virus nationwide, particularly in the epicentre of Wuhan, has been effectively stemmed,” an official statement said.
The meeting, however, warned that the risks for sporadic infections and localised outbreaks have not gone away. With the pandemic rampaging across the world, the situation remains complex and challenging. There is every need to maintain cool-headedness and not let off guard.
“Wuhan city and Hubei province should stay focused on medical treatment and community-level containment as the two key priorities. They should continue to treat the severe cases, promptly admit new cases, and advance epidemiological investigations,” the meeting said.
In Wuhan, officials said people are allowed to go back to work while restrictions on the public transport are gradually being eased.
The Hubei province and its capital Wuhan with over 56 million people were under lockdown since January 23. The vicious virus broke out in city, reportedly at a live animal market in December last year and became virulent inflicting thousands of people in the city and province catching the government off guard.
No new confirmed or suspected cases have been reported in the hard-hit Hubei province or Wuhan city for five consecutive days, Mi Feng, an official with NHC, told the media here.
Arduous efforts have been made since Wuhan was locked down two months ago, Mi said, adding that the number of existing infected cases kept decreasing.
However, zero new COVID-19 cases do not mean there is no risk, Mi said.