The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the global coronavirus pandemic began, now has no remaining cases in its hospitals, a health official told reporters on Sunday.
The novel coronavirus is believed to have originated in a wet market in Wuhan and first emerged in December before spreading quickly worldwide. Some 2.83 million people have been reported to be infected globally and 197,872 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
"The latest news is that by April 26, the number of new coronavirus patients in Wuhan was at zero, thanks to the joint efforts of Wuhan and medical staff from around the country," National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said at a briefing.
The city had reported 46,452 cases, 56% of the national total. It saw 3,869 fatalities, or 84% of China's total.
Wuhan and the province of Hubei were put in lockdown near the end of January, with roads sealed, trains and planes cancelled and residents unable to move freely for more than two months. The city is still testing residents regularly despite relaxing the restrictions.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The focus has since shifted to the northeast border province of Heilongjiang, which has seen large numbers of imported coronavirus cases entering from Russia.
China's health authority had earlier reported 11 new coronavirus cases on the mainland on April 25, down from 12 the previous day, with no fatalities.To see an interactive graphic tracking the global spread of coronavirus: open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.