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24 hours with no deaths in China for the first time since the Covid-19 outbreak.

Commercial and residential buildings in Wuhan, central China, on April 6, 2020



Wuhan: For the first time since the Covid-19 epidemic broke out nearly three months ago, China had not registered any deaths on the newly born corona Tuesday, a few hours before the closure of Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, was lifted.

China continues to take a steady step towards a crisis in the face of the virus that emerged at the end of 2019.


Since then, the new Corona virus has killed more than 75,000 people worldwide.

To contain the virus, in late January, China ordered the strict closure of more than 50 million people in Wuhan, and in the rest of central Hubei Province.


This method paid off. After the number of deaths exceeded 100 per day in February, the daily number of deaths has decreased in recent weeks, falling to zero, according to the toll announced by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday.


But this reassuring outcome should be viewed with cautious optimism, due to the emergence of two new risks: those coming from abroad, and the invisible threat to patients who do not have symptoms - that is, those who do not have a cough or fever but can still pass the virus on to others.


Hubei residents were held in their homes for two months. At the end of March, those who did not live in Wuhan were able to leave their homes to leave the province, provided they were not sick.


One of the last major obstacles will be removed in a few hours. At midnight local time (16:00 GMT) Tuesday night to Wednesday, healthy people will be allowed to leave the regional capital.
- Don't underestimate me.


"The elderly are excited, they are waiting for the opportunity to get out of impatience," 43-year-old Xia, a resident of Wuhan, told AFP.


But the city municipality confirmed to AFP that the number of candidates to exit is limited due to the decrease in the number of flights and trains serving Wuhan, a measure imposed at the height of the pandemic.


The municipality also confirmed that the various restrictions on movement will be maintained in the city, to prevent the re-emergence of cases of infection.


"Many people believe that, starting from April 8, they can relax a little (in implementing quarantine procedures), but in reality we will need to remain vigilant," the Hopai Daily newspaper quoted a senior Wuhan official as saying on Sunday.


"There will be no complacency," he said.


The municipality is still on alert, as it removed the "epidemic-free" status for 70 of the city's neighborhoods, a classification that allowed residents of these neighborhoods to leave their homes.


The municipality justified its decision to discover people in these neighborhoods who carry the virus but show no symptoms. Wuhan reported 34 of these cases on Monday.


"This shows that the controls have been tightened. The end of the stone does not mean that everything will return exactly as it was before. Residents still have to register when entering or exiting anywhere they are," Dr. Xiao told AFP.


- doubts -


"Even if the stone is lifted tomorrow, we should try to stay inside as much as possible," said Xia, a resident of Wuhan.


The decline in the numbers of injuries and deaths recorded in recent weeks in China is accompanied by doubts about the reliability of the official figures.


Families especially reported that people who had died at home or who had not had a virus screening test when the hospitals were overcrowded, were not included in the outcome.


Moreover, even as new domestic injuries drop to zero, China still faces a wave of imported injuries. On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health announced 1,000 of these injuries, including 32 new ones, all from abroad.
The government said Monday that in addition to the airports, the authorities will also enhance the screening of arrivals across the land borders.


China reported its first death on January 11. Since then, nearly 82,000 people have been injured in the country, including 3,331 deaths.
 

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