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Xi Jinping says situation in Wuhan remains 'complex and grim' as death toll climbs to over 2,700

The death toll on Wednesday climbed to 2,715 while the confirmed cases rose to 78,064, amidst strong signs of COVID-19 slowing down even at its epicentre Hubei and Wuhan, the NHC said.
Feb 26, 2020 / 08:05 PM IST

President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that the situation in coronavirus-hit Wuhan city remains "complex and grim" despite the decline in the number of cases and risk of rebound cannot be overlooked, as the death toll climbed to 2,715 and confirmed cases rose to over 78,000.

China's National Health Commission (NHC) said that 52 fatalities were reported on Tuesday, all from the worst-hit Hubei province and it's capital Wuhan, the lowest in three weeks.

The death toll on Wednesday climbed to 2,715 while the confirmed cases rose to 78,064, amidst strong signs of COVID-19 slowing down even at its epicentre Hubei and Wuhan, the NHC said.

Also 406 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus infection were reported from all over the country while another 439 new suspected cases came to light on Tuesday.

The number of severe cases decreased by 374 to 8,752, it said.

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Overall 2,491 people were still suspected of being infected with the deadly virus. A total of 29,745 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery, it said.

Bruce Aylward, an epidemiologist who led an advance team from the World Health Organization (WHO), told the media in Geneva on Tuesday that China has changed the course of COVID-19 outbreak, noting that the rapidly escalating outbreak has plateaued and come down faster than previously expected.

Aylward said the unanimous assessment of the 25-member team which conducted a nine-day field study trip to Beijing, Guangdong, Sichuan and Hubei is that besides adopting a science-driven agile response, China followed a pragmatic approach which is "technology-powered and science-driven".

"They are using big data, artificial intelligence (AI) in places," Aylward said, adding that China has managed massive amounts of data in finding each COVID-19 cases and tracing contacts.

It also made consultation of regular health services done online, by which the capacity of hospitals could be intensively used for COVID-19 cases, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

However, President Xi, who presided over a high power meeting, said the positive trend in preventing and controlling the epidemic is expanding and economic and social development is rapidly recovering, but the situation in Hubei Province and Wuhan remains "complex and grim as the risk of a rebound of the epidemic in other regions cannot be overlooked".

Wuhan, the capital city of the hardest-hit province of Hubei, remains the main battlefield for prevention and control of the coronavirus epidemic in the country. Hubei and Wuhan together with over 50 million population continue to be under lockdown since January 23 with all public and private transportation remained suspended.

Xi said that at this moment it is important to make unremitting epidemic containment efforts and accelerate all aspects of work in economic and social development.

He told the ruling Communist Party committees and governments at all levels to accurately grasp the epidemic as well as economic and social development situations to ensure winning the people's war against the epidemic and achieving the goals of building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects and poverty alleviation, Xinhua reported.
PTI
first published: Feb 26, 2020 08:05 pm

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