China reports 27 new virus deaths, lowest rise in cases since January

Beijing, Mar 8 (AFP) China on Sunday reported its lowest number of new coronavirus infections since January, with nearly all the 44 new cases in the outbreak epicentre Wuhan.

There were 27 new deaths from the virus, all in Wuhan and the lowest in more than a month, bringing the nationwide toll to 3,097, according to the National Health Commission.

Only three cases, all imported from abroad, were reported outside of Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, in Beijing and the northwest province of Gansu.

New infections reported from Hubei have been on a downward trend for several weeks and multiple cities in the province have reported zero new cases in recent days.

A senior government official hinted on Friday that China may soon lift the lockdown on the province imposed in late January, which has effectively restricted the movement of some 56 million people in Hubei.

Nationwide new infections have also been on a downward trend, but confirmed imported cases have prompted fears in recent days that infections could swell as people get infected overseas.

The two cases reported in Beijing Sunday were arrivals from Italy and Spain, the capital’s health commission said.

The number of coronavirus cases has risen worldwide to more than 100,000, with 3,500 dead across 95 nations and territories.

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