All new cases were reported on Thursday involving people who come to China from elsewhere, the government said.
China on Thursday reported no local infections for the first time since the crisis coronavirus began three months ago, reached a milestone in the battle with the deadly disease that has been reversed everyday life and economic activity throughout the world.
as governments in Italy, the US and elsewhere grappling with the pandemic, China hailed as evidence of what can be achieved when, bureaucratic top-down area that brooks no dissent mobilized in pursuit of a single target.
If the numbers Thursday more than a statistical blip, it would represent a remarkable turnaround for the Chinese government, which drew widespread public anger when officials outbreak, even punish doctors who tried to raise the alarm.
Those missteps, critics say, allows the virus to sp read uncontrolled in the city of Wuhan in central China, forcing the government to impose travel and quarantine restrictions on cruel on avoidable
While Beijing hammer approach -. seen by many as an extreme experiment unprecedented in size and scope – work quickly bring down the number of infections, the price in human trauma and severe economic losses.
The virus has killed 3,245 people in China so far, which makes up more than a third of the global toll. Eight people were killed on Wednesday, all in Hubei province in the middle of an outbreak that began late last year in the capital, Wuhan, where officials first said they had detected cases of pneumonia mysterious December 31
Hubei have borne the brunt of the epidemic: more than 50 million people there were placed under strict lockdown of the end of January, and the case-fatality rate of the province, at 4.6 percent, was several times higher than the rest of the country.
China is not out of the danger of contagion is revived and instability. A broad swath of the country’s people have been hurt by what the ruling Communist Party has dealt with a bogey. Questions have been raised about the accuracy of Chinese statistics. And even if zero local infection has been achieved, that does not mean zero new cases.
Officials said Thursday that 34 new cases have been confirmed among people who come from elsewhere, pointing to how hard it will likely be for China – or any country – to keep the virus completely out. In China, many provinces and cities have basically shut down for tourists from elsewhere, raises the question of whether the virus will reappear after the obstacle is removed and people began crisscrossing the country again.
“It’s very clear that the measures taken in China has nearly ended their first wave of infection,” said Ben Cowling, head of the division of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Hong Kong University School of Public Health. “The question is what will happen if there is a second wave because of the type of action that China has implemented may not be sustainable in the long term.”
Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, has called for a “people’s war” against the epidemic and party propaganda outlets in recent weeks touted as the party’s response success and a model for other countries.
approach has also come to the party, and some critics have questioned whether it would be feasible in an open society where personal freedoms are fiercely protected.
in the last few days, fear of viruses and pressure from the community to take stronger action has encouraged democratic governments such as Italy, Spain and France to the citizens, a strategy that some countries were hesitant to adopt just a few last week.
long-term effect of the policy has been very clear in Wuhan and Hubei. For weeks, and. Residents over food shortages. critically ill patients. Many die
In the early days of the outbreak, lack the means test and hospital beds means that many people can not be tested -. And infectious disease experts say that some with mild symptoms that are likely going undetected now. The government has modified the calculation methodology repeatedly, causing large fluctuations in numbers.
Errors in the strategy of coronavirus China in the early weeks of contributing to the surge in virus transmission in families. When the hospital in Wuhan sleep fatigue or test kit, they send a lot of the hospital where they were infected relatives.
public distrust and hatred against the government appointed to the martyrdom of life Li Wenliang, a doctor Wuhan which is one of the first to recognize an infection as new dangers and punished by the police in early January for sharing concerns, which they called rumors illegal. He was a month later.
Mr Xi, calling the virus from the system of government of China, throwing the country 1.4 billion people be reminded antivirus mobilization of mass crusade Mao-style not seen in decades.
Environment committee enforced quarantine. Blocked the train station into the city if they can not prove they live or work there. In the countryside, the villages barricaded themselves with vehicles, tents and other emergency barriers.
Even as the immediate threat has diminished virus in China, the party continues to push hard to control what is said about himself. The authorities have, and the scope and considered defamatory.
This month, Ren Zhiqiang, a property tycoon vocals, shortly after writing an essay in which he argued that the party strictly limits freedom of speech has exacerbated the epidemic.
“We saw so much dark as blunt force policy,” said Lan Bo, a Chinese filmmaker from Hubei who has been filming a documentary in Wuhan on the epidemic. “It is time that shows both misfortune and nobility of human nature.”
Now, China will need to pick up the pieces. Containing the outbreak, authorities in China shut down schools and workplaces and imposed travel restrictions and quarantine large segment of the population and many visitors from abroad.
Officials are under pressure to revive the economy, that is. Note the country posted a decline in retail sales, manufacturing activity and investment in the first two months of this year. The: Economists now believed that the country will see its first contraction in decades, which will have knock-on effects on the global economy and could lead to a recession
In recent weeks, authorities across the country have. lower levels of emergency response the epidemic, which allows part of the economy to revive life.
In cities like Beijing and Shanghai, restaurants and shops are reopening. face masks, social distancing measures, frequent hand washing and temperature checks at the entrance to the building and the restaurant has become the new normal. Most schools remained closed and students have switched to online classes, and even attend a virtual daily flag raising ceremony via video link.
China’s rural areas are slowly letting their guard down too. In at least one village in the central province of Shaanxi, emergency barriers have been dismantled, according to interviews with residents there.
in Hubei Province, the restrictions have been eased since the visit by Mr Xi earlier this month. Businesses and factories have been instructed to gradually reopen. Authorities said residents will each be given a colored health code based on the level of risk that will allow them from the media and the low risk areas to move around the province. In Wuhan, the centers of mass quarantine has been established to detain patients infected with mild symptoms have all been closed.
in a village near Xingshan County in western Hubei, a message asking residents to continue the work came blasting over the loudspeakers earlier this month, echoed in the lush hills. The villagers burst firecrackers to celebrate the moment.
“It’s like the war has ended,” said Stefan Kirkeby, an American who had been visiting his wife’s family in the village for the Chinese New Year when the lockdown was suddenly announced in January. “We still have not been able to leave Hubei but the freedom of the local people has been restored.”
As China shifts away from wartime footing, experts say the priority now must expand testing and monitoring in the community of tourists coming to the country. National service has improved in the last few days of screening for visitors from abroad, and several cities including Beijing earlier this week began placing all travelers entering the required 14-day quarantine in a centralized location.
“The important thing now is to maintain vigilance about finding new cases,” said Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist and helpant professor at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Insurance in Baltimore.
As life in China back to a semblance of normal, many people are moving. Even those who have been quick to criticize the government’s mismanagement of the beginning of the outbreak has become more forgiving in recent days, because they have seen governments in the US and Europe in response to the outbreak grope their own.
But for many, especially in Hubei, restrictions have been charged emotional charge that the country has not fully confronted. Fear and chaos of recent weeks has prompted some to wonder how in a matter of days, the mysterious virus could be traumatized the entire country, transform what has traditionally been the most festive time of the year to one of the most dismal.
Wuhan in particular is still recovering from what residents described as “” For many people, life under lockdown dining public anger and anxiety as the supply of food and medicine is running low, mortgage and loan payments come due and the uncertainty of when it will all end sets in. For others, there is only sadness.
Mr Lan, filmmaker, said almost everyone he meets in the city have friends, relatives or neighbors who have died from the virus.
“This is our war,” said Mr. Lan. “Everyone has seen so much that we are now numb.”
Some residents in Wuhan hope that the worst has passed. But still there is widespread, if unspoken, sense among the population that their city of 11 million has been sacrificed to save the country. Wuhan accounted for nearly two-thirds of China’s total number of infections and more than three-quarters of his death.
For some, like Deng Chao, a 30-year resident, will haunt them feeling abandoned.
Mr Deng said he was stuck in a hotel Wuhan in government-imposed quarantine. Alone in his room, he got sicker without appropriate medical care during the week.
“That was the darkest moment in my life,” said Mr. Deng, because who has recovered from a virus and returned home. “I feel so helpless.”
Updated March 17, 2020
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