Coronavirus: Hubei sees rise, rest of China sees 4th day of declines
BEIJING : China yesterday reported a rise in new coronavirus cases in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak,while the rest of the country saw a fourth-straight day of declines.
Hubei had 499 new cases on Monday, the National Health Commission said, up from 398 a day earlier and driven mainly by new infections in the provincial capital of Wuhan.
China in total had 508 new confirmed cases, up from 409 on Feb 23, bringing the total number of cases in China so far to nearly 77,700.
Excluding the latest cases in Hubei, the rest of China had just nine new infections on Feb 24, the lowest number of cases since Jan 20 when the national health authority began publishing nationwide data on the infections. The overall death toll in China was nearly 2,700 as of the end of Monday, up by 71 from the previous day. Hubei reported 68 new deaths, while in Wuhan, 56 people died.
Chinese regions deemed at low risk from the outbreak should fully resume normal activities and end transport bans, an official at the state planning agency said yesterday.
China needed to take a more nuanced approach to controlling the epidemic to ensure the economic impact is minimised, National Development and Reform Commission spokesman Ou Xiaoli said.
"Low-risk areas... are to restore order in production and life, cancel transport restrictions and help enterprises solve employment, raw material, funding, equipment and other difficulties. The current epidemic situation is not the same everywhere," he said, adding that if control measures were not tailored to circumstances in different places, it could hurt economic recovery.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said the epidemic in China peaked between Jan 23 and Feb 2 and has been declining since.
Mr Ou said counties apart from Beijing and Hubei would be divided into "low-risk", "medium-risk" and "high-risk" and draw up their production recovery plans accordingly.
Low-risk areas should "completely restore work and life procedures", end all restrictions on transportation and help enterprises resolve funding and raw material problems, he said. - REUTERS