China's Xi visits Wuhan, curbs to be lifted in some areas in Hubei, Latest World News - The New Paper

China's Xi visits Wuhan, curbs to be lifted in some areas in Hubei

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BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping declared yesterday that the spread of the deadly coronavirus epidemic has been "basically curbed".

Mr Xi said "initial success has been made in stabilising the situation and turning the tide in Hubei and Wuhan", Xinhua news agency reported after the Chinese leader paid his first visit to the outbreak's epicentre since the crisis erupted in January.

His arrival in Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have first taken hold late last year, comes after its spread in China has sharply slowed in the past week and as attention has turned to preventing imported infections from overseas hot spots such as Iran, Italy and South Korea.

China had 19 new coronavirus infections on Monday, the National Health Commission said yesterday, down from 40 a day earlier.

It also marked the third straight day of no new locally transmitted coronavirus cases in the country outside of Hubei.

Of the new cases, 17 were in Wuhan. There was also one in Beijing and another in Guangdong, both people arriving from abroad, according to health authorities.

China has more than 80,750 cases so far, of which more than 3,130 were fatal.

Hubei officials said yesterday they will relax travel restrictions to allow healthy people to move within the province.

Hubei has been under lockdown since January with some 56 million people under quarantine.


The provincial government said a mobile app will be used to give residents a coloured health code, and people labelled "green" in medium- and low-risk areas will be allowed to travel within the province.

There is no indication that people can leave the province, and the measures also did not appear to loosen restrictions in Wuhan.

South Korea yesterday also reported fewer than 150 new cases for the first time in two weeks.

A total of 131 infections were confirmed on Monday, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, taking the total to 7,513.

Three more people died, it added, with the toll rising to 54.

"The number of new Covid-19 cases has been declining, so we can assess that the rate of increase is coming to a standstill," said Mr Yoon Tae-ho at the Central Disaster Management Headquarters.

But the outbreak was still spreading, he added, warning against any relaxation of containment efforts.- REUTERS, AFP