China over ‘peak’ of Covid-19 outbreak as new cases fall to single digits

Beijing, Mar 12 (efe-epa).- The peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in China is over, a spokesman for the National Health Commission said Thursday during a press conference in Beijing.

“New cases continue to decline. We believe that we have passed the peak of the current epidemic outbreak, which now remains at a low level. Medical care should be the highest priority but there is no truce, we must intensify prevention and control efforts,” Mi Feng told reporters.

According to Mi, the number of confirmed new cases in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province and epicentre of the outbreak, has been reduced to single digits for the first time, with just eight cases in the latest official count.

“Except for Wuhan, no city in Hubei has registered new cases in the past week. And outside of Hubei, there were only seven cases in the last count, of which six were imported,” he added.

In the last 24 hours, 15 new infections have been recorded across the entire country compared to 24 on Wednesday, the commission added

Of the new confirmed infections, six were “imported” from beyond China, four fewer than those recorded the previous day.

Of these, three were detected in southern Guangdong province, two in the western Gansu province, and one in the central Henan province.

To date, 85 confirmed “imported” cases have been detected.

The patients had travelled from other parts of the world where the virus continues to spread, with hotspots in Japan, South Korea, Iran and Italy.

One of the Chinese government’s priorities now is to protect against these imported infections.

According to the latest official data, 3,169 people have died from Covid-19 in Mainland China, and 80,793 have been infected.

So far 62,793 patients have been discharged since the epidemic began in late December 2019.

Over 677,243 people who have been in close contact with infected persons have been medically monitored. Of those, 13,701 remain under observation.

The symptoms of the new coronavirus are in many cases similar to those of a cold but may be accompanied by fever and fatigue, dry cough and dyspnea (difficulty breathing).

The World Health Organisation on Wednesday declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic as the number of cases outside China continued to rise. EFE-EPA

jco/ch /jot

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