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China’s President, Xi, visits Wuhan, signalling tide turning in China’s coronavirus battle

According to the president, this is a sign that authorities’ efforts to control the virus are working.

“4 Xi’s arrival came on the same day that Wuhan shut the last of 14 makeshift hospitals opened to manage a surge in coronavirus patients that had overwhelmed the city’s health care system,’’ news website The Paper reported.

Earlier on, China announced that it had just 19 new coronavirus infections on Monday, down from 40 a day earlier.

That also marked the third straight day of no new domestically transmitted cases in mainland China outside of Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, even as the disease spreads rapidly in other countries, including Italy and the U.S.

News of Xi’s Wuhan visit gave a lift to Chinese stocks, with the blue-chip index CSI300 ending the day 2.1 per cent higher after falling into negative territory in morning trade.

“It is obvious that Xi could not have visited Wuhan earlier because the risk of him contracting the virus there was initially too high,” Zhang Ming, a professor at Renmin University in Beijing, told Reuters.

According to Zhang, Xi is there now to reap the harvest; his being there means the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) may declare victory against the virus soon.

China came in for criticism at home and globally over its early response to the outbreak, suppressing information and downplaying its risks, but its draconian efforts at control, including the lock-down of Wuhan and Hubei province, have been effective at curbing the spread.

Also, Hubei said it would implement a “health code” system to allow people in areas at medium or low risk to start travelling.

According to a report on an official website, Qianjiang, another city in Hubei, said that all traffic checkpoints will be removed, public transportation will restart and firms will resume work in the near future. (Reuters/NAN)

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