The Chinese city at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak shut down its first makeshift hospital, one of 16 quickly built to control the epidemic, following the discharge of its last recovered patients, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Monday.
Dip in new cases
News of the closure sync with a sharp fall in fresh cases in Hubei province and the provincial capital Wuhan; however, the country is kept on alert as Chinese nationals returning home have been tested positive for the virus.
Central Hubei province of China, the focal point of the country’s coronavirus epidemic, reported less than 200 cases of the latest infections for the first time since January. On Sunday, Hubei had 196 fresh confirmed cases, the National Health Commission stated on Monday, sharply decreasing from 570 cases a day earlier and the lowest since January 24.
The fall was driven by a decrement in new cases in Wuhan, where the virus first originated last December, which reported 193 new infections, the lowest since January 26.
Mainland China had registered a total of 202 fresh confirmed cases, the lowest since January 22. Excluding the new infections in Hubei, there were only six new cases in mainland China, the lowest since last month. That totals up the number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 80,026.
The death toll from the epidemic in mainland China climbed to 2,912 as of the end of Sunday, increased by 42 from the last day. Hubei registered all of the 42 new deaths, while 32 people died in Wuhan. Coinciding with the dipping number of new infections, Wuhan shut down its first makeshift hospital after it discharged the last lot of 34 recovered patients, CCTV reported.
Fall in the emergency response level
As of February 28, Wuhan has built 16 temporary hospitals, including 13,000 beds, in total 12,000 people have been treated so far. Overall, the number of beds in Wuhan hospital has risen from 5,000 to 23,000.
So far, Eighteen provinces across China have decreased their coronavirus emergency response level in the past week, the newest being Zhejiang province which cut its emergency response measures to level II from level I, as per the provincial government’s official Weibo account on Monday.
China has incorporated a four-tier response system for public health emergencies that identify what measures it is going to implement, with level I being the most serious.
On Sunday, President Xi Jinping issued a warning; however, that China requires to take a long-term vision of the outbreak and cover plug loopholes in its laws and emergency response mechanisms, as Beijing reported two new cases of Chinese nationals recently returned from Iran, where cases of coronavirus have multiplied exponentially.
On Monday, China’s Global Times also reported one case that was imported from Italy in Zhejiang province, though its local health commission said there were no other domestic confirmed cases reported in the province on March 1.
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