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Coronavirus

China reports zero Covid-19 deaths for first time since outbreak

Authorities in Wuhan have eased restrictions on leaving the city.
Authorities in Wuhan have eased restrictions on leaving the city. AFP

Health officials in China have reported no coronavirus deaths in a 24-hour period for the first time since the country began publishing figures in January from the outbreak epicentre Wuhan.

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The announcement came a day before travel was allowed out of Wuhan, the city where the virus emerged at the end of last year.

A lockdown was imposed on tens of millions of people in Hubei province's capital as well as the rest of the region at the end of January in order to curtail the spread of the disease.

Though the overall death toll in China stands at just over 3,300 with nearly 82,000 confirmed cases, the number of new infections has been falling steadily for several weeks.

In the wake of the drop, health officials have eased restrictions in Hubei province. At the end of March, people were allowed to return to the region from other parts of China.

Figures 'on the light side': Trump

There remain fears that the country could face a second wave of infections from nationals arriving from abroad. 

Chinese authorities say that anyone coming from the United States, Italy or Iran will have to provide daily updates on their health through a smartphone application for up to two weeks before their flight or risk being denied entry into China.

But as Beijing lauded the drop in figures, US President Donald Trump attempted to downplay their apparent victory.

Citing an intelligence report, Trump questioned the accuracy of the numbers, which he said "seem to be a little on the light side". 

The death toll in the US on Tuesday crept over the 11,000 mark. Nearly 370,000 of 1.4 million cases worldwide were in the US.

 

 

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