Friday 3 April 2020

China sees fall in new cases; concern over spread

BEIJING, February 22, 2020

China reported a sharp decrease in the number of new deaths and new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, saying the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in the country has preliminarily been contained.
China's central bank, meanwhile, predicted a limited short-term economic impact and said the country was confident of winning the fight against the epidemic.
Mainland China had 397 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on Friday, down from 889 a day earlier, with the vast majority of those in the epicenter of Hubei province, a Reuters report quoting the National Health Commission said.
The 31 new infections recorded in the rest of the country was the lowest since the commission started compiling nationwide data on January 20, and sharply down from 258 new cases the previous day.
The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China rose to 76,288, with the death toll at 2,345 as of the end of Friday. Hubei reported 106 new deaths of which 90 in Wuhan.
But the numbers continued to rise elsewhere, with outbreaks worsening in South Korea, Italy and Iran and Lebanon, prompting a warning from the World Health Organization that the window of opportunity to contain the international spread was closing.
South Korea saw another spike in infections with 142 confirmed cases, taking its tally to 346, about half related to people who attended a church service.
Meanwhile, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee also held a meeting on the prevention and control of COVID-19. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, chaired the meeting.
According to the meeting, there is the overall declining trend of the new confirmed and suspected cases across the country and the rapid increase of the number of cured patients, especially big drops in the new cases outside the epicenter Hubei Province.
A release following the meeting said the nationwide inflection point of the epidemic has not yet arrived, and the situation remains grim and complex in Hubei and its capital city Wuhan.
It demanded unremitting efforts of party committees and governments at all levels to secure a full victory in the people's war against the epidemic.
The meeting underlined the tremendous resilience and potential of China's economy despite the notable impact brought about by the epidemic.
The long-term trend of steady growth with a sound momentum will not change, according to the meeting.
With more positivity in proactive fiscal policy, prudent monetary policy should be more flexible, and precise financial services should be provided for the resumption of business and the growth of the real economy.
The virus has spread to some 26 countries and territories outside mainland China, killing 11 people, according to a Reuters tally, and among the WHO’s biggest concerns was cases without links to China.
“We still have a chance to contain it,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said on Friday. “If we don’t, if we squander the opportunity, then there will be a serious problem on our hands.”
An outbreak in northern Italy worsened with its first death, an elderly man, among 17 confirmed cases including its first known instance of local transmission.
Japan confirmed four new coronavirus cases on Saturday, among those a teacher who had shown symptoms while working at her school.


More Health & Environment Stories

calendarCalendar of Events